Blogs

Nearly one in four people experienced sexual abuse as a child. Why is this swept under the carpet?

Anna Nathanson

142876689 300x293 Nearly one in four people experienced sexual abuse as a child. Why is this swept under the carpet?A predominant focus in the recent case of the sex gang found guilty of abusing teenagers in Manchester was on “Asian men” preying on “vulnerable white girls”.

Yet last month, the alarming statistic from the NSPCC that a child is subjected to a sex crime every twenty minutes in the UK went shockingly under-reported, in one tabloid relegated to a tiny box on page twelve, as if it wasn’t even worthy of being considered news.

It is in fact white men who are responsible for the majority of child sex offences in the UK , and in the greater Manchester area where this case took place, 95% of those on the sex offenders register are actually Caucasian. Yet rhetoric from various portions of the media reporting on this case included statements such as; “It has long been known that Asian men are associated with this type of crime”,  and, “We can’t say that they haven’t got an issue in their community because we’ve now seen so many cases”.

Focusing so heavily on the ethnicity of the men involved in the Manchester case implies that the problem is confined to a particular minority, just as the last time sexual abuse was up for discussion on a large scale within the media was in the context of Catholic priests. I’m not attempting to downplay the awful abuse that took place within these contexts or suggest that the issues thrown up by these cases shouldn’t be debated. Yet to pass up the chance to address the true extent of the problem within society in the process is actually something that is hugely irresponsible, and unwittingly facilitates its continuation on a much wider scale.

Statistics indicate that approximately one in four people in the UK experienced a sex offence as a child, making this a very real and present social ill. Yet while there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous groups in Britain, there is only one Twelve Step equivalent group in the whole country dedicated to survivors of sexual abuse. The fact is that we live in a society where admitting to being a drug addict or alcoholic is regarded as more socially acceptable than admitting to being a survivor of a child sex attack. And it is this culture of shame, which is interwoven into the very fabric of our society, which perpetuates silence around the problem, allowing it to carry on.

What we need is ongoing openness around the issues surrounding childhood sexual abuse, and only then will it be truly possible to lift the stigma and make it easier for children and adults who have been affected to speak out and get help, as opposed to a culture where it is swept under the carpet and attributed to particular minority groups.

Tagged in: , , , , ,
  • Pinxminx

    Well it’s true, not a claim, a fact - not that is matters.
    Wasn’t in a good mood this morning. I shall edit it, just for you. 

  • Guest

    LOL – so you didn’t talk to thousands of sexual abuse victims in twelve months at all, did you? That’s OK. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z5DQCE7YHKZZWEDZIZLDYUUW5M ninja

    “Focusing so heavily on the ethnicity of the men involved in the
    Manchester case implies that the problem is confined to a particular
    minority”

    The police avoided looking into this because they were afraid of being called racist… lady, you’re part of the problem.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Z5DQCE7YHKZZWEDZIZLDYUUW5M ninja

    These girls themselves were targeted because of their race… so the focus on race is entirely appropriate.

  • http://darkscribe.tumblr.com/ DarkScribe

    Of COURSE you know your facts. Who could know facts better than the person who made them up? 

    You haven’t even attempted to respond to the logic being pointed out to you regarding the impossibility of interviewing thousands” of victims. That, I suspect, is a tacit admission that you were being less than truthful. I suppose that a tacit admission is better than no admission at all. Thank you. 

  • gondorplace

    All well and fine.

    Do you have children?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jonathan-van-der-Berg/596544061 Jonathan van der Berg

    “… there is only one Twelve Step equivalent group in the whole country dedicated to survivors of sexual abuse.” As a survivor of the Twelve Step cult, why would anyone trade one form of abuse for another? I encourage everyone to find out just how effective it is. Type “13th step” into any search engine and you will be shocked at the results. Because groups that use the Twelve Steps are strictly non-professional, you have absolutely no idea who you are dealing with. Please beware!

  • Kaashif Nawaz

    Of course there are no white pedo gangs:
    http://www.harrowobserver.co.uk/west-london-news/local-harrow-news/2011/06/14/brent-council-worker-jailed-over-paedophile-ring-116451-28876142/
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/8251298/Colin-Blanchard-and-Vanessa-George-built-relationship-based-on-abuse-while-hundreds-of-miles-apart.html
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4211154/Cops-nab-12-over-child-sex-ring.html
    http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/15890171

    The only difference is their colour is not the issue and they don’t get so  much national debate. In fact such claims by BNP / EDL types are pure lies and propoganda masking the fact that there are thousands of white pedo gangs who target babies, not just lonely vulnerable teenage girls drunk on our high streets late at night.


Most viewed

Property search
Browse by area

Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter