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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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That figure of 1,400 girls sexually abused in Rotherham over a 16-year period is shocking. So shocking, in fact, that I was moved to do some sums.

The girls were aged between 11 and 18. There are about 3.5 million girls in the UK in that age range, an eighteenth of the population as a whole. Assuming that Rotherham (a city of about 250,000) reflects this, there are some 13,900 girls in that age range at any time from that city. The abuse took place over a 16-year period, so we can slightly more than double that, to (say) 28,000, to get the total figure for girls who were in that age range in Rotherham during the period covered by the report.

If the report's findings have been correctly reported, this means that 1 in 20 girls in the city were abused. That's one or two for every classroom, for at least a generation. My maths and/or facts may be wrong, of course - I welcome corrections.

The head of children's services at the time, a master of the passive voice, "regrets that more wasn't done at the time."

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Re: Babes at the gym and Stormont.

It's not about what 11 year olds do, though, is it? It's about what adults do, or fail to do.

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Re: Babes at the gym and Stormont.

No doubt they will be held to strict account by the PCC. Oh, wait...

My uninformed guess is that that is the number of incidents, and that some individuals are counted more than once. Even so it is both shocking and disgusting.

The generally hinted but unspoken thing is that those girls were dismissed as "little tarts" who were "asking for it" or "coming on strongly" to the men concerned. Thus they didn't matter because they were already jailbait.


I wondered about its being the number of incidents rather than individuals, which is why I put in that caveat about the findings being correctly reported. However, having just downloaded the report, it does say quite clearly on p. 1 of the Executive Summary: "Our conservative estimate is that approximately 1400 children were sexually exploited over the full Inquiry period, from 1997 to 2013."

It does seem that a small proportion of the victims was male, which slightly skews the figures - but only slightly.

Even allowing for some boys and perhaps some transient families, it's on hell of a lot. How in HELL did the authorities remain so clueless?

I seem to recall from somewhere that Rotherham has (or at least, had) a large number of children's homes, with children from other towns being housed there. If so, this would up the number of children slightly (and up the number of vulnerable children significantly).

I an sure they knew about it but had decided that the girls had chosen this life. And if you had asked a girl who had been groomed they would probably have said they consented and they loved these men, who were probably nice to them at first, bought them presents , treated them like grown ups. Kids are programmed to please adults. We all groom them to do that.

This whole sorry mess cries out for sex and relationship education, with emphasis on the relationship bit, at an early age.

The fact that this involves Pakistani Muslim men must be about the fact that sex outside marriage is prohibited in their culture but not in secular white culture.

Kids are programmed to please adults. We all groom them to do that.

Indeed. This is of course why there's an age of consent, but that seems to have been ignored in these cases.

This whole sorry mess cries out for sex and relationship education, with emphasis on the relationship bit, at an early age.

Or at least before someone gets a job in child protection...

That passive voice statement...it sounds like plenty was done. Just nothing good.

I know. I kept having this horrible impulse to change "wasn't" to "weren't."

I think you've underestimated the affected population by not including those who aged out of the group close to the beginning or aged in close to the end. An 18 year old at the start of the period would have been 32 by the end, meaning (32-10) = 22 years of girls were affected. Using your population numbers, I get around 38,000 ( = 13,900/8 girls per year group * 22 year groups).

Which puts it at a still horrifically high 1 in 27 and the same conclusion.