The father of child sex abuse victim ‘Woman B’ has hit out at Bucks social services for failing to help his daughter.
The dad, who cannot be named to protect Woman B’s identity, said: “The first I knew about my daughter being in trouble was when she was ex-pelled from school for taking drugs in. I didn’t even know she smoked cigarettes.
“From then on she was running away from home, saying she wanted to go and live in a children’s home.
“I was on the phone to social services every day saying can you help, I don’t know what is happening.
“As a parent, this was beyond my understanding. It was only after I did a CSE course online recently that I gained a slight understanding of what CSE is and how the people do the grooming and how that directly affects the victims.
“It was then that things started to slot into place. It was like light bulbs going off; I was thinking I noticed that, I remembered that.
“At the time I felt all my instincts were biting at me but I couldn’t place what was wrong. By then those people had got the control they needed.
“These people alienate their victims from their families, take away the trust, the general respect. I knew there was something wrong and I couldn’t identify it. “That’s why I was pleading with the local authority for help.
“They said she’s just being naughty. Now we know she wasn’t just being naughty, she was being groomed.”
The man said he only found out about his daughter when the police told him last year.
“At the time it was all going on I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t have the tools to understand that it was child sexual exploitation (CSE).
He went on: “My daughter was such a beautiful, loving young girl. She was happy and cheeky, she had hopes and aspirations and was a very intelligent child.
“She always had a vision of what she wanted from life and what she wanted to do.
“Me and her mum had split up, but she was still loved and supported. People use the term ‘broken home’too loosely. Just because her parents were split up doesn’t give a gang of predatory paedophiles the right to exploit her for their own perverted ends.”
And the father had a message for other parents.
He said: “As her Dad, I take full responsibility. I feel like I’ve failed her.
“Parents are ignorant to CSE because the tools are not there in front of us. People need to be taught. When the headteacher was expelling her for bringing weed into school, did he ever consider that this girl could be the victim of CSE?
“If CSE is happening in a little market town like Aylesbury, it’s happening in towns and cities all over the country, right this minute.
“You can’t be in denial. If it means you’ve got to feel a bit uncomfortable in order to educate people, I’d rather feel uncomfortable and be educated. The way forward is education. Educate parents, educate schools, educate people who come into contact with children. Tell parents, this is what CSE is, it’s happening around you whether you like to acknowledge it or not. How many people might think, that’s why our children are behaving like this? It’s almost like an epiphany.”
He added: “Some people who this has also happened to are probably too scared to deal with it. My daughter locked it away for a long time, it was gone as far as she was concerned. It wasn’t until she started speaking to police that things slowly surfaced.
“If other victims, girls and boys, can see this case and see they are taken seriously, that the people who have committed these crimes are dealt with, then they may come forward.
“It’s shattering. For the people you love the most to be hurt to that degree. There’s not a word you can associate with that level of guilt and pain.
“What these people did to these children is beyond comprehension. It’s disgustingly abhorrent. I detest them. If you have the propensity to do that kind of thing en masse, it’s almost like they are skilled. They are skilled in manipulating people, in grooming. They have no place amongst society.
“The people who did this don’t deserve to see the light of day again because they are going to be a threat for life. My daughter went from having all those aspirations to becoming a chronic drug addict, losing everything, and even though the trial is going to finish, my daughter has to live with what happened to her for the rest of her life.
“They took her pride, her self-esteem, all the things that would have helped her to develop into a healthy young woman. They took years away from her that they had no right to take.
“There are no coping mechanisms for this stuff. My relationship with my daughter now is very loving but it can be tense. We will always be strong, but we have not even begun the process of healing yet.
“My daughter is a bright, articulate young girl and I am deeply proud of her for coming to speak to the police about something as horrific as this. The strength and courage she has shown is incredible.
“I am fiercely proud of my daughter for how she has handled herself during this and I’m proud of the woman she is going to become. She is capable of anything.
“As a family we will go on. These people may have chipped away at us but when they are in jail in a year’s time, we will still be sat round the table having our Sunday dinner, laughing and joking together.”