Grooming Gangs: Focus on protecting children, not Far Right agendas.

26 03 2018

by Berkshire Anti-Fascists

The Left, like some sort of nebulous ghost, is usually blamed for many things. One big accusation from the Right at the moment, is that the Left doesn’t care about child abuse. This is being done vocally on the back of the horrendous Telford child abuse scandal, and has been used to politically weaponise similar cases in Rotherham, Oxford and more.

Plainly, this is untrue from a Leftist perspective – groups like Sisters Uncut are working incredibly hard to pressure our government into supporting women and families, which is key to the safety of children. If you look at organisations like Southall Black Sisters, you can see feminist groups working to support families and women for years. What they must mean then, is that Anti-Fascists have been fighting fascists who are capitalising on child abuse scandals by turning them into racial or religious issues.

Child abuse is a critical issue, and we need to be really clear about the facts of it, so we can finally put children at the centre. Statistically, in what’s described as Type 1 abuse (where “victims” are targeted “based on their vulnerability”) a 2013 study by the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection command) found that half of these cases involved all-Asian groups. This abuse is often categorised as being carried out by ‘gangs’. We then have what’s called Type 2 abuse, where abusers are described as having “a longstanding sexual interest in children”. According to the study, 100% of these offenders were found to be white. They’d be described as paedophile rings due to the focus being on paedophilia, as ‘opposed to’ vulnerability. There are two things to add to this information: one, that lone child abusers are definitely the higher risk problem in the UK, something not considered in these statistics showing disproportionate involvement of one community in one type of abuse (which is the smallest compared to family, online and institutional abuse) and two, that more research needs to be done here, as advised by the CEOP in regards to their own study. Fact remains that more than 80% of child sexual abusers are white men.

So what qualifies as a gang, or a group? Certainly a group linked by their profession, which is what a legal source has told The Guardian is the reason for over-representation of Asian men in these cases, they network using the night-time nature of their work, in takeaways and as taxi drivers. Instead of insisting on better monitoring of these areas and community networks to tackle the problems in these exact places (something actually being diminished), we have Paul Golding and Jayda Fransen harassing Muslim women related to abusers, pretending they all met at the local mosque.

If we look further into ‘gangs’, would people linked by political ideology qualify? Given that Alt-Right poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos openly said he endorsed ‘sex’ between young boys and older men, we can’t pretend this isn’t an issue in that community. Here in the UK we have groups like the EDL and other Far Right organisations, obsessed with gratuitous Breitbart style ‘articles’ about pedophilia, making it unsurprising that they’re teeming with abusers. Perhaps the biggest gang/ring of them all would be our own ruling state, it can’t be more cushty than the wealthy white elite at Westminster can it? A gang that have all but gotten away with decades of abuse, to very little outcry from the Right, or from most of the population. Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church? How are we protecting children in schools, at sports clubs, from powerful organisations like the BBC?

When most online offenders (which makes up a huge number of abuse cases) are white, we need to think about how we can equip children with the right tools and conversations around staying safe online, not convincing them that only white men will hurt them online, despite that being a fact we could take away from this information. If we were to be that blind, it’d be clear that leaving our children open to other forms of abuse from other people was fine, as long as we got our own specific political agenda in there. Really, men are the common element here – patriarchy is something we need to talk about. Children become more vulnerable to what abuse actually is when we try to paint a simplified image of abusers for political gain.

The Office of National Statistics UK has said not only is psychological abuse highest among white people, but that minority children were least likely to report their abuse. Combine this with the fact that BME people are more likely to be victims of crime generally, and you see a very grim picture of an entire demographic of children being abused and totally ignored. The binary is simple for the Far Right, Pakistani men abusing white girls. The actual facts leave all children vulnerable, an issue racialised, and a fog for other (white) pedophiles to operate under. The tabloids will ignore that 80% of victims know their abuser (according to the NSPCC), which makes Britain First door-stopping a group of women and children related to an abuser all the more harrowing. Senior lawyer Nazir Afzal has pointed out: “When I prosecuted the Rochdale gang, immediately afterwards, I prosecuted the ringleader again for his abuse of a girl of the same ethnicity as him. That didn’t get any publicity and he got 21 years for that.”

Angela Davis provides (as always) excellent reading on why creating this myth of a racialised abuser has so much value for the Far Right in her work ‘Myth of the Black Rapist’. Understanding the motives of the Far Right, which are totally removed from the protection of children, should only encourage us all to work harder towards helping children. Yes, there’s a lot of noise about child abuse right now which makes us think it’s being dealt with, but this discourse is about very specific cases, and the demand from the Right is “stop immigration”.

Accountability from the state is easy to dodge when you play a double bluff and pretend you just didn’t do anything because the offenders were Pakistani, as opposed to the fact that the victims were working class girls, as was done in Rotherham. Bizarre that suddenly the authorities were so worried about offending the Politically Correct brigade when the police ignored and then literally allowed disabled Bijan Ebrahimi to be burned to death, accused unfoundedly of being a ‘pedophile’, and let this Pakistani pedophile narrative flourish so innocent pensioner Mushin Ahmed could be murdered by a racist in Rotherham in 2015.

What we need is accountability from Local Authorities, what are their policies for helping Looked After Children and shielding them from exploitation? Why is funding being cut for refuges when it’s vital for families and children fleeing abuse? What education on healthy relationships and sex education are we providing to children? What resources are being provided to help educate children and families to identify abuse? These are our demands and much more.



3 responses

11 06 2018
Bashing’s back: Do something about it. | Anti-Fascist Network

[…] these things the most valuable. Hatred also stems from a combination of distorted coverage of Grooming Gang scandals and terrorist attacks carried out in the UK. These are minute, even combined, proportionately with […]

27 03 2018

Reblogged this on Anarchy by the Sea!.

26 03 2018

Reblogged this on Wessex Solidarity.

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