Skip to main content

IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.



In desperation, Jodie wrote in her school book ‘I really need help’

All names and identifying details have been changed.

Participants have given us permission to share their experiences.

Jodie was groomed by four men and subjected to serious sexual abuse by a larger group of males.

There were many obvious indications that she was leading an extremely troubled life, but no institutions intervened effectively.

The systematic sexual abuse began when Jodie was 11 years old and continued until she was in her mid teens. She and her friends would hang around a local shop asking passers-by to buy them cigarettes.

One day they were approached by four men (she thinks they were aged about 18 to mid-30s), who offered to get what the girls wanted, saying they didn’t want any money from them. Jodie remembers this attention was ‘very exciting’.

Once the supposed friendship had been established, Jodie and her friends were invited to various houses and plied with alcohol and drugs. On one occasion, one of the men incited two young males, aged 12 and 13, to sexually abuse Jodie while he directed them.

At the properties, men of different ages would abuse Jodie and her three friends and other females she didn’t know. She says the four men received money in return for offering the girls to other men for sex.  

When Jodie was 13 years old she became pregnant as a result of the sexual abuse. She miscarried on her own with no support or medical intervention.


Looking back on the years of abuse, Jodie thinks she could have died because it was so severe. She says ‘I sometimes forget how big it is until I talk about it’. There were several occasions when institutions and people in authority should have seen she was at risk and taken steps to protect her.

She was once handcuffed to a friend by one of the men to force them to go to him after school. Jodie told a teacher that she had been handcuffed because she owed money to her drug dealer and that ‘something bad’ was going to happen to her at the weekend. The teacher told her mother but no proper action was taken. The teacher did not ask who Jodie felt was a safe person to approach, and Jade says her mother was not a safe person.

When Jodie and her friend were 13 years old, they attended an NHS clinic with chlamydia, but no questions were asked.

Jodie recounts another occasion when she was in her early teens and ‘off her face’ on drugs. A police officer visited the house where she was being kept. A young girl upstairs had just had acid thrown over her and the police spoke to one of the men in the group but left without taking any further action. She says the police saw her with the men on many occasions.

Jodie’s school, the NHS clinics, police and social services all failed to ask about her obviously chaotic life and declining behaviour. She was absent from school on many occasions and her academic performance deteriorated. No one responded when she wrote a message in a school book saying she needed help. She says the school were aware of her relationship with the gang of men. Jodie reflects ‘I didn’t care anymore, it was like the life had gone from inside me’.

Jodie’s family were involved with social services and she feels angry they did nothing to help. One of her friends who was also abused was in foster care, but again social services ignored the obvious problems.

She was physically and psychologically abused by one of the group who forced her to be his girlfriend; she also gave birth to his child. Towards the end of the ‘relationship’ he seriously injured Jodie and her baby. She reported the assault to the police and took her baby for a health check but no action was taken. Jodie eventually reported the abuse to the police and gave them the names of more than 50 men aged between 16 and nearly 60 years old.

She feels very badly let down by the institutions that should have protected her and her friends. She wants authorities like the police to be more aware of organised groups of abusers and children mixing with older men, especially if they are out late at night and seem to be on drugs.

She also thinks there should be more training how best to approach children so that they feel able to disclose abuse without fear that they will get into trouble.

Back to top