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IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Cambridge House, Knowl View and Rochdale Investigation Report

Standards and terminology

40. We are conscious of not judging the approach taken to children at Cambridge House or Knowl View School with the benefit of hindsight or by the standards that prevail today. As a matter of common sense and fairness, it is right that we judge institutions having regard to the standards that applied at the time. In this report, we describe the sexual abuse of young boys in the public toilets (and other public places) in Rochdale as ‘sexual exploitation’. This was not a term that was in use at the time; such sexual abuse was then often described pejoratively or children were described as ‘rent boys’. We do not use that terminology in this report, except where we are repeating words used in a record. Regardless of its label, what happened to boys in public places in Rochdale by paying men constituted serious sexual abuse by the standards of the time. Similarly, we have used the term ‘grooming’ in this report, although it is not a term that would have been used at the time. Again, regardless of its description today, the establishment of an inappropriate relationship by an adult with a vulnerable child would have been regarded as wrong by the standards of the time.

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