Saturday 6 September 2014

Sexual Abuse & Exploitation of Women and Children and the EDL in Rotherham

In response to the recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Exploitation in Rotherham by Alexis Jay OBE, and the English Defence League’s decision to call an event in Rotherham on Saturday 13 September, Sabby Dhalu and Weyman Bennett, Unite Against Fascism Joint Secretaries said:
“We condemn the sexual abuse & exploitation of women & children and the failure of those responsible to properly tackle the crime & bring the perpetrators to justice, as revealed in the recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Exploitation in Rotherham by Alexis Jay OBE. We support and seek justice for all victims of sexual exploitation regardless of their social or ethnic background. We condemn and seek prosecution of all those responsible for these crimes irrespective of their ethnicity or creed. 
“We also condemn the decision by the English Defence League (EDL) to come to Rotherham on Saturday 13 September. We believe this is a cynical attempt by the EDL to use the appalling crime of child sexual exploitation to further its own ends.
“Revelations regarding child sex abuse from Jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris, Thatcher Government Ministers to men in Rotherham show that institutions with responsibility including the police, child protection & other public services, national and local government, failed the victims mostly young women and children; and must take action to combat and prevent such horrific crimes.
“When discussing Saville, Harris, former government Ministers and child sex abuse, there is rightly no discussion of the link between white, British, English, Australian & Christian culture and child sex abuse. Those arguing that there is some link between Pakistani, Asian culture and Islam and organised child sex abuse in Rotherham or anywhere else in the country; or that failure to obtain justice for these crimes is due to the fear of offending Pakistani, Asian or Muslim communities are wrong.
“There is no link between cultural or religious background and child sex abuse. The Jay Inquiry makes two very important points amongst many others. Firstly that:
As has been stated many times before, there is no simple link between race and child sex exploitation….’ (Pg 91)
“Secondly the report also reminds us of the conclusions reached by the Deputy Children’s Commissioner that:
…one of these myths was that only white girls are victims of sexual exploitation by Asian or Muslim males, as if these men only abuse outside of their own community, driven by hatred and contempt for white females. This belief flies in the face of evidence that shows that those who violate children are most likely to target those who are closest to them and most easily accessible.’ (Pg 94)
“The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry revealed that the police and other institutions are ‘institutionally racist’ and African, Caribbean and Asian people are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system. Therefore it is unlikely that the crimes in Rotherham were not addressed properly due to the social and cultural background of the perpetrators. 
“At the root of child sex abuse is misogyny, sexism, exploitation and a negative attitude towards women, girls and vulnerable children, from the perpetrators, those that knew of the crime but took no action and the institutions of authority with responsibility. This is what must change in government institutions, the police and across all communities.”
“Focussing on the background of perpetrators (which is only happening when they are from a non-white background) distracts from the crime itself, why it takes place and preventing it in future. It is a betrayal of victims whose perpetrators do not match any stereotype of a sex abuser. It also concedes to racist and fascist groups such as the EDL and others, to stir up tension and division in areas like Rotherham in order to recruit support.
“We reject the attempt by the EDL and others to whip up racism and division in towns and cites across the country, without a care for the damage it leaves in its wake and to use the crime of child sexual exploitation to demonise one community. 
“The EDL is dedicated to attacking Muslims and stirring up racism and Islamophobia. It also targets trade unions and those opposing austerity, tomorrow it could be Jews,
Hindus, Sikhs, Black, LGBT people, Travellers or East Europeans. 
“We urge people of goodwill to support the ‘EDL not welcome in Rotherham’ statement and join the ‘Justice for the victims – We will not let the racists divide us’ gathering on Saturday 13 September.”


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