In response to the conviction today (9 August) of 17 men and one woman for offences related to the rapes of many vulnerable young women and girls in Newcastle, the EVAW Coalition said:
“It should horrify all of us that the organised rape and abuse of girls and young women can persist with such viciousness and so many witnesses for years and not be stopped.
“Reports on previous child sexual exploitation cases have repeatedly shown that the perpetrators of these crimes soon learn that they are getting away with it and acquire confidence to continue offending.
“Our society needs to look at the way child abuse and rape are sometimes minimised and excused. We need to tackle head on the very possibility of a “boyfriend model” of ‘grooming’ and rape.
“A criminal conviction is anything but the end of the story. We need to ensure support is provided to help the survivors of these crimes recover and rebuild their lives. In previous child sexual exploitation cases young women have been unable to get rehoused away from perpetrators or get back to education and training. Specialist counselling services for rape survivors also struggle to keep their doors open. If we truly cared about the survivors we would guarantee all of these were available as long as they are needed.”