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Emma Jackson, Victim of #Rotherham Rape Gangs: ‘They Like Us Naive’


Julie Bindel (@bindelj) was the first to report on The Rotherham Horror — the vicious sex-trafficking gangs of Muslim men who preyed on English girls, an atrocity officials ignored for fear of “racism” — and I want to begin this by giving her full credit for her work.

One of the things that most shocked me about this story was a simple question: Where were the feminists? Here you have girls as young as 11 being raped and pimped out, and you might think that there would be daily outpourings of feminist rage about it, yet this problem has been allowed to fester for years without decisive official action? Something is clearly wrong in British culture, if political correctness could keep feminists quiet about this savagery. But Julie Bindel was not silent — she wrote a lengthy article for the Sunday Times of London about Rotherham in September 2007 — and her courage deserves recognition.

Emma Jackson’s courage also deserves recognition:

Emma Jackson has a way of referring to her younger self that makes her teen years sound as though they were decades ago. “My mum is my best friend,” she reflects at one point as we are talking. “Now I’m older I’m really happy with that, but when I was 13, I saw things differently. I was much younger and I didn’t want my mum at all. I just wanted my friends.”

The past sounds so far away that I have to keep reminding myself that Emma is still only 20. . . . [T]hose friends she sought out so assiduously at 13 in the local shopping centre near her home in Yorkshire turned out not to be friends at all, but a well-organised gang of criminals, using teenage boys as bait to enable them to groom young, naïve girls like Emma for a life of prostitution.

From the distant vantage point of adulthood, she can now discern a disturbing pattern in how they treated her, but at the time it all felt spontaneous – and, at first, exciting. She was initially befriended by courteous, good- looking lads a few years older than she was. Through them, she was introduced to their older friends, and finally, slowly and imperceptibly as she tells it, into the arms of what seemed a glamorous suitor called Tarik. . . .

“Yes, there probably are a lot of girls who get involved because they come from broken homes, or are in care, but when you look at the whole situation, as I have, there are plenty who don’t. The gangs know that if they take a girl from a nice family, she will probably be more naïve, not as streetwise as kids who have been in care. And because you are naïve, you are more trusting, easier to impress. They like that. It makes you easier to control. . . . .”

That’s from an interview Emma did with Peter Jackson of the Independent in January 2010 — more than four years ago — and if you do the math, you realize that Emma’s exploitation began in 2002-2003. The failure of British officials to crack down on this horrible trafficking of young girls is inexplicable and inexcusable.

England is a country about the size of the state of Alabama; most of the problem was concentrated in a few districts of northern England. Rotherham has a population of about 250,000, of which about 8% are non-white minorities. The traffickers were a very distinct group — Pakistani Muslim men in their 20s and 30s — and the girls who were victimized were also a distinct group: white, ages 11-17, predominantly from lower-class households, many of them already under supervision by social-service and child-welfare agencies because of family or school problems. The basic outlines of this problem were clearly in evidence by the late 1990s. Let any American imagine, therefore, what the reaction would have been if something like this were happening in Huntsville, Alabama. Would we expect local law enforcement and child-welfare agencies to do nothing? If there were a problem so specific and so localized, involving the sexual exploitation of young girls, wouldn’t we expect a joint federal/state/local task force to target the perpetrators? The FBI would be swarming all over these vicious creeps.


That’s the astonishing thing, as you read Professor Alexis Jay’s investigative report: Case after case came to the attention of authorities, and yet the systematic exploitation of girls continued. The families of victims were terrorized, and the failure of police to act convinced many people in Rotherham that the Pakistani pimps had political protection through local Labour Party officials. Emma Jackson’s assertion that victims could come from any kind of background is certainly true, but most of the girls came from poor families, broken homes and trouble backgrounds:

Anybody who knows anything about how pimps operate understands this: Street hustlers have a keen eye for vulnerable girls, those with “a desperate need for attention and affection,” and they know how to impress young fools with the ostentatious display of symbols of wealth. Nice car, flashy clothes, jewelry — never mind how this stuff is obtained, whether by theft or fraud or drug dealing, all that counts is creating the superficial impression of wealth and status, and vulnerable girls are seduced by the glamour.

The modus operandi of pimps is well-known, and certainly no social worker or police officer can be ignorant of this. But carefully read these accounts of two victimized Rotherham girls from pages 44-45 of Professor Jay’s investigative report:

This is insanity. As early as 2000 (i.e., two years before Emma Jackson’s exploitation began), social workers and the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) were aware of the case of Child A, who had been “associating with a group of older Asian men” and had already had sexual intercourse with five adult men by age 12! Yet a criminal investigator argued against treating her case as criminal abuse because it was “100% consensual”? Insanity, I tell you!

What is incredible is that, after one such case was clearly identified, the repetition of similar cases (like Child C, apparently exploited from the time she was 11) did not result in a law enforcement response to the pattern. Remember, this was occurring in a community of about 250,000 people — a medium-sized city, not a vast metropolis — and the sex-traffickers fit a very definite “profile.” In a city that size with an 8% minority population, once it became known that girls were being exploited by Pakistani men in their 20s or 30s, does anyone really think that it would have been difficult for police investigators to identify the chief suspects? But this kept happening year after year after year:

(Independent Inquiry CSE in Rotherham by Unity_MoT)

 Part of the problem, however, is made clear both in Professor Jay’s report and in the testimony of Emma Jackson: The girls involved in this are often simply so deluded — so emotionally broken, so confused by peer pressure, so dominated by pimps — that they don’t realize they’re being exploited, and refuse to cooperate with investigators. Here is Emma Jackson’s 2013 testimony to a committee of Parliament:

Emma Jackson: I am 23 now. I was groomed at the age of 12, and that started in Meadowhall, which is a local shopping centre. I used to go on the weekends with my friends. Back then that was the place where children went on a weekend and they hung out. They have the children’s arcade, and we used to go in there. I got targeted by young boys who were a couple of years older than me, so they were not grown men.

Chair: How old would they have been?

Emma Jackson: They would have been 13, 14, and I would have been 12. This went on where I would see them every Saturday for about a year and this fellow started to introduce older brothers or cousins or friends who were about 16, 17, 18. Some of them had cars. At that age-I was coming up to 13 then-I was a teenage girl, and I quite liked the idea that some of them were a bit older and that they had cars, because that is teenage girls. You start wanting a bit more freedom. Your parents start to give you a little bit more freedom, and you do things that you should not do or that your parents tell you not to do. You still do, and that is kids.

Chair: I have a 15-year-old daughter. I know exactly what you mean.

Emma Jackson: You tell them not to do something and they will do it. . . . Then it started where they introduced older people to us and we started to go into Rotherham town centre to hang around instead of Meadowhall. I had turned 13 at this point. Then when we started hanging around in Rotherham town centre and we were there, we were seeing these men every day, and by now they were men. The younger boys had disappeared, and it was men.

Chair: Men of what age?

Emma Jackson: In their 20s. They started to get older as time went on; some were in their 30s. . . .

You can and should read the whole terrifying thing. The point is this: Emma Jackson and the committee chairman agreed that youthful rebellion is normal, that when “teenage girls . . . start wanting a bit more freedom,” they can be expected to “do things that you should not do or that your parents tell you not to do.” That’s simply what kids do, we are assured — but is this really true? Of course, every parent must confront the fact that children reach a certain age where they begin to assert their independence and establish their own identity. It is not true, however, that parents must simply surrender to the willfulness of their children and let them do whatever they want to do.

“But mom, all the other kids are hanging out at the mall!”

Yeah, give into that childish argument, and next thing you know, your 13-year-old daughter is being pimped out as a prostitute.

Three things would seem necessary to prevent this:

  1. Girls must be warned about the dangers of exploitation. It is easy to see, in hindsight, how girls like Emma Jackson were lured into prostitution. She was 12, getting attention from boys 13 or 14 she knew from school. Then these boys introduced her to older teens and young adult men who had cars and money. By the time a pimp raped her at 13, this world seemed “normal” to her, and Emma was then pimped out to other men without realizing that she was a victim or that her “boyfriend” the pimp was a criminal. It is unfortunate to think girls so young must be warned about something so horrible, but it is obvious that naivete makes girls vulnerable.
  2. Parents must be empowered to protect their children. Reading the accounts of what went on in Rotherham, you get the sense that the safety of young girls was entrusted to social workers and police — government bureaucrats, really — who were in some cases shockingly indifferent to the plight of the victims. It is as if the right of parents to protect their own children has been so co-opted by the government that no mother or father felt the right to take action on their own. One wishes these pimps would have had to fear a vengeful Liam Neeson-type father coming after them with a pistol.
  3. Police must take seriously the exploitation of youth. This is the biggest takeaway from Rotherham. It is blindingly obvious that officials were not serious about enforcing age-of-consent laws. Girls under 16 have statutory protection in England, but police and social workers seem to have the idea that it is normal for underage girls to be screwing around, even with adult men.

Don’t take my word for this. Listen to Emma Jackson:

The Asian community in Rotherham know this is happening, and they are absolutely appalled by it. They want these people out of their community like anybody else would. They do not want their children around these people. But I think also what has happened — and not just with the Asian community but with everybody in Rotherham who is a young person or in their early 20s — is it is spoken about and it is almost accepted in a way because it has been going on that long. It is just normal. It has been going on that long, and been left to go on, that we have normalised it. That is just part of growing up; that is what happens.

A society that is willing to tolerate such things will soon learn to accept such things — “just part of growing up” — and it doesn’t take too many years of toleration before pimps and perverts figure out they can get away with such things. This horror story  in Rotherham should be a wake-up call for parents not just in England, but everywhere.

Evil works 24/7 and never takes a holiday. You think your kids are safe from evil in your town? So did Emma Jackson’s parents.

“But mom, all the other kids are hanging out at the mall!”

First published at


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