Press Release: Potential Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Westminister
We welcome an open inquiry into the allegations of a cover up of child sexual exploitation, assault and rape within Westminister, however, any inquiry must put the needs of victims first which includes a right to privacy and the choice to testify. We would also ask that all parties involved in the inquiry undertake specialist training via rape crisis or another organisation so that all parties fully understand the complexities of trauma and memory, as well as full understanding of the legal position involved.
We would like to see the media cover the inquiry using appropriate language like child rape rather than paedophilia as the majority of men who choose to commit sexual violence against children do not meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for paedophilia. We want to ensure that terms like "child sex parties" and "child sex orgies" are deemed grossly inappropriate. Sexual violence is not sex and conflating the two actively harms victims and survivors.
As seen with the recent allegations against Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Max Clifford, systemic victim blaming and a refusal to believe victims of sexual violence makes it very difficult for survivors to bring forward allegations. Certainly the abuse directed at Vanessa Feltz for coming forward with her personal story of sexual assault by Rolf Harris is clear evidence that many members of the general public, as well as those employed within the criminal justice system, still assume that sexual violence is party the fault of the victim.
We want to ensure that any inquiry is victim-centered and starts from understanding of the definitions, legal and otherwise, of sexual exploitation, grooming, and violence