Here is a quick rundown on what can be called the Huddersfield grooming incident. Huddersfield is a town in West Yorkshire (roughly the middle of England) where 20 or more men repeatedly sexually coerced 15 vulnerable female teens and pre-teens. Authorities should have seen the signs and stopped the Huddersfield grooming incident much earlier. The news stories seemed to come from nowhere because the media was not allowed to report on the Huddersfield grooming during the investigation. BBC report about trial. BBC report of how they did it.
Highlights from the BBC report of how they did it:
The men, who are all British Asians mainly of Pakistani heritage, groomed girls by making them feel special, then plying them with alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.
They then used violence and threats to control them, on one occasion threatening to bomb a girl’s family home.
Among the victims were girls with mild learning disabilities, girls who were bullied at school; one girl’s mother was completely unable to look after her because of her own drink and drug problems.
As a result they often craved the attention they were given, leaving them unable to see what was being done to them until it was too late.
The court heard some of the victims felt they were in genuine relationships, such was the extent to which they had been groomed.
- If someone out of your age-range wants to party with you like a friend, you should be suspicious of them.
- It does not make you a bad person to refuse a gift or to wonder if a gift-giver will someday act like you owe them a favor.
- “Grooming” refers to preparation done by someone who wants secret sexual contact with a vulnerable person. They test a victim to see if they are a safe choice. They may manipulate them into thinking sexual contact is a good idea or a normal thing to do. Or, they may manipulate them into thinking it is a dangerous thing to report.
- Before you get all racist about this, ask yourself what percentage of Pakistani men consider these men to have behaved wrongly. Myself, I can’t even guess. I don’t even know any Pakistani men. But, whether it’s a small or huge percentage, they don’t deserve to be blamed for the actions or ideas of others. And, you don’t want me blogging about you committing a hate-crime against some innocent Pakistani man next week, do you?
- If you suspect a vulnerable person is manipulated into a sexual relationship, tell authorities and social workers, even if they ask you not to.
- If anyone reports to you that they are the victim of a sexual assault, or they are uncomfortable about anything related to a “romantic relationship,” listen supportively without judging them. It is easy for teens and others to get too far into situations before they realize what they are into. And, it is all too common that a victim becomes convinced something is their own fault so the real predators never get caught or take too long to get caught.
- Educate yourself and young women and men about the signs of grooming. Below are two resources
Sign up for our weekly newsletter so you never miss quick summaries of people-danger in the news!