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January 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – This week has seen the report of yet another UK “grooming gang” pimping and exploiting vulnerable underage girls, this time in Manchester. (There is a long newspaper report here.) 

The men targeted care homes. 

The victims repeatedly told those charged with their care that they were being raped and given hard drugs, but social services, medics, and police showed enormous reluctance to get involved, an attitude that seemed to be endorsed by the coroner investigating the 2003 death of Victoria Agoglia, a 15-year-old victim of a heroin overdose (her caregivers were not to blame, he found). This death did lead to a wider investigation, but it was starved of resources and then shut down. 

It has become a depressingly familiar pattern. The Rochdale, Bristol, and Oxford sex abuse gangs have gained the most attention, but there are now “case reviews” and public inquiry reports from an ever-lengthening list of locations. The victims number in the thousands. It is far from clear that the lessons of these cases have been learned: the Greater Manchester Police were hanging tough and refusing to reopen the investigation, which they had mysteriously shut down in 2005, as recently as 2018. What, one might ask, is going on? 

One can distinguish three layers in this extraordinary and repeated injustice toward some of the most vulnerable people in society. The outermost layer is cover-up.

The people who were responsible for failing to protect the victims or to investigate the crimes were following policy, but it was not the kind of policy that would look good if exposed to the sunlight of publicity. Furthermore, the policy went right up to the top, so a public discussion of it would implicate very senior and influential people. Those campaigning for justice found, therefore, that the farther up the tree of seniority they went the less sympathy they received. When public outrage finally precipitated the latest inquiry, senior police officers cited memory lapses and refused to testify. The minutes of the meeting at which the investigation was shut down apparently cannot be found. It is easy to imagine how this attitude would affect the responses to the victims at the time.  

The second level is the attitude to ethnic and religious minorities. As one police detective reported to the inquiry: “What had a massive input was the offending target group were predominantly Asian males and we were told to try and get other ethnicities.” The investigation kept implicating Asian men the senior officers did not want to prosecute, so it was stopped. 

It is not surprising that members of the “offending target group” were of a particular type, because what they were starting with was a network of people with all sorts of cultural and family links. If other cases are any guide, however, what united gang members in Manchester almost certainly was not “Asian heritage,” but the Muslim religion. Some rape gangs have included non-Asian Muslims; I have yet to see Asian Christians or Buddhists implicated. Britain’s Sikhs and Hindus have made an official complaint about the term “Asian grooming gangs” being used in the press because its inclusion of them is completely unjust. As a matter of fact, Sikh girls, like white girls, have even been targeted by these gangs. The politically correct police and social work establishment are simply unable to deal with the social and religious reality of these gangs in a rational and just way. 

Even this, however, is not to get to the heart of the problem. Not all rape gangs comprise Muslim men, and most sexual exploitation of children is not carried out by organized gangs at all. As Norman Wells of the Family and Youth Concern charity argued in his book Unprotected, the most fundamental issue is the idea commonly accepted by policy makers that children should be assumed to be making autonomous decisions about sex and drugs, and should be allowed to do so, however disastrous the consequences are likely to be. 

What we hear again and again from the social workers in these cases — social workers who were in many cases the primary caretakers of the victims — was that they regarded the girls’ liaisons as consensual. In English law, as elsewhere when an adult has sex with a person under a certain age (16 in England), consent is legally irrelevant. It is rape.

The social work mindset, however, reflected in sex education materials and official guidance, and parroted by the police, is that if the rapist is reasonably young, or if the victim does not complain, the matter should be ignored. 

Of all the poisonous ideas of the sexual revolution, we may be close to seeing this one destroyed by contact with reality. 

I should like in a separate article to draw out some parallels with the clerical sex-abuse issue.