What’s worse, rape or racism? I found myself posing that question after the Operation Sanctuary investigation was finally made public, revealing horrific abuse of girls and vulnerable young women in Newcastle. I had been moved and inspired by the courage of the victims, testifying, sometimes multiple times, to the most appalling and intimate crimes. And I felt overwhelming anger at the men who had done this, men in my constituency, men who used girls and women as their property without respect for them or thought for their futures. Read the article from The Guardian here
TWAFA Comment; Chi Onwurha makes some very valid points here. It is clearly wrong to link the appalling crimes of the gang of sexual predators, who have been convicted as a result of Operation Sanctuary. Rape and abuse of girls and women has been (and sadly is still going on) in communities across our country for centuries.
It certainly makes sense that, “stereotyping does not safeguard the vulnerable, it merely makes them more vulnerable. What is needed is raised awareness, mandatory PSHE, well-resourced community policing and mandatory training for all relevant agencies in identifying and reporting grooming indicators.” What is important in response to these terrible crimes is to do all we can as a society to ensure that they are never repeated and simply seeking to employ misinformed, divisive, racial stereotypes will only make things worse, not better.
(c) TWAFA September 2017