11-Year-old English Girl Gang-Raped on the Playground by 7 Pakistani Muslim Immigrants Over a 5-Year Period
For five years from the age of 11, Sarah Wilson was groomed and raped by Rotherham paedophiles who showered with gifts and made her feel special in what was to become one of the biggest abuse scandals in the UK.
The now 23-year-old admits she became so ‘brainwashed’ by the older British Pakistani men in the South Yorkshire town she considered it normal for them to expect to have sex with her in return for all they had given her.
Writing an emotional account of her harrowing experience in new book Violated, Sarah, whose sister Laura was murdered, reveals she was plied with alcohol and cannabis by sexual predators.
They habitually abused her until she was 16, when they lost interest because she was no longer underage.
The abuse, which sent shockwaves across the nation, took place in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013.
And Sarah, who is now a mother, was not alone. A report revealed that, since the 1990s, up to 1,400 young girls in the Yorkshire town had been regularly abused by sex gangs, predominantly composed of
Asian [Muslim] men.
A National Crime Agency investigation, which could run until 2018, last month announced that it had so far identified 300 suspects
The suspects are ‘predominantly’
Asian [Muslim] men from the South Yorkshire town and include two who have worked for the council. Their victims are mainly white, British, underage and ‘vulnerable’ girls.
Sarah, who has waived her right to anonymity, said had no idea she was a victim of grooming.
She was raped by a 30-year-old man in a school playground at night when she was just 11, leaving her feeling ashamed and disgusted.
And it was just after her 12th birthday that Sarah got into a car with a fat 35-year-old British Pakistani man who took her virginity.
She explains: ‘From the age of 11, I was showered with gifts from men in their twenties and thirties who pretended they were my friends.
‘They told me I was beautiful and bought me anything I wanted: phones, clothes, takeaway food, cigarettes and, of course, alcohol and drugs. Some even claimed that they loved me.
‘By the time they took me to strange towns to have sex with them and all their mates, aged 12, I was so brainwashed I thought it was normal.’
Such was the scale of the grooming in the South Yorkshire town at the time, Sarah said ‘lots of girls were being groomed like I was. To us, grooming was normal.’
Describing the horrific sexual abuse she was subjected to, Sarah said: ‘Some nights, I was driven hundreds of miles away and ordered to have sex with as many as seven men in a row.’
She said refusing wasn’t an option.
‘How could I say no? I didn’t want to be stranded with no money to get home and they’d got me hooked on the alcohol and drugs they knew I couldn’t afford myself.
‘Plus, they’d threatened to petrol bomb my family home if I didn’t do as they said,’ she said.
Sarah said the police and social services did little to help her and she was only freed when she turned 17 – as she was then deemed ‘too old’ for the paedophiles.
She revealed: ‘My mum reported me missing countless times but the police barely batted an eyelid.
‘The reason? In their opinion, we’d agreed to this. We kept going back to these men, so surely they couldn’t be raping us.
‘As for my social workers, they put me in a children’s home, where my abusers collected me in taxis every single day. When they brought me back in the early hours of the morning, the staff even paid the fare.
‘Girls like me – and our families – were crying out for help, but no one listened. Politicians were worried that addressing the issue of grooming by British Pakistani men would “give oxygen” to racism.’
Sarah recalls: ‘When I was 17, I eventually escaped my abusers, with the help of my mum and a friend from the British Pakistani community who intervened. By then, I was too old for the men who’d groomed me.’
Justice started to be served in November 2010 when five men were jailed for a string of sexually related offences against girls in 2010. This was later revealed to be just the tip of the iceberg.
An investigation by The Times found thousands of girls had been victims of sexual predators.
This led to further investigations and by February 2015, South Yorkshire Police said up to 29 people had been charged with child sexual exploitation offences in Rotherham.
Now free of the men who abused her, Sarah is slowly trying to move on with her life.
She said: ‘The scars of years of abuse don’t heal overnight.
‘I’m 23 now and I still feel anxious going into town alone. I rarely use taxis, as so many of the men who raped me were taxi drivers.
‘I’ve struggled to do the things many young women take for granted, like going to college and getting a full-time job.
‘If I didn’t have such a supportive family, I worry I’d have turned to drugs or crime – or that I’d be dead.’
She continues to lives in Rotherham, where she is helping to bring up her niece, Alesha, following her sister’s death, and has recently become a mother herself.
She said becoming a parent has made her even more passionate about preventing child abuse which is why she has shared her story in a new book, ‘Violated,’ published by Harper Element.
Sarah said: ‘I’ve realised I don’t have to be a victim forever. I’m also a survivor, and I can make a difference.
‘Alongside other victims, I’m doing something about grooming. I’m working with the police and children’s charities to help professionals recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation.
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