“We would get free alcohol and cigarettes, food, free taxis.
“At first I thought it was great because nothing sexual had happened, I thought I could just get all of this stuff for free.”
The men, she said, were friendly, simply chatting with the girls now and again in a takeaway shop.
“It made me feel like I was pretty. I never thought that they would do what they did to me, because you don’t think that would happen.”
Then, things changed.
“He asked me to come upstairs and I didn’t really think anything of it.
“He then was saying all the things he had bought for me, and he wanted something back for it.
“I tried to say no in a nice way, but he wasn’t having it.”
“What they did to me was evil, they ripped away my dignity, my self-esteem.”
This continued for months.
Then one evening, she was arrested by police for smashing the counter at a takeaway where some of the men met the girls. Then, she told the police.
“I was scared telling them, because I didn’t know what the consequences would be from the men.
“They threaten you, and you’re scared of them, and that’s how they make you do it.”
The men led the girls to believe they were in relationships with some of them, and it was normal to have sex.
“They’re just brainwashing you so you think you love them so you do what they say.
“It’s not a normal relationship when your boyfriend is getting you to sleep with all his friends for money.”
But when the Crown Prosecution Service reviewed the case in summer 2009, it was decided that the girl “would not be viewed as a credible witness” – a decision not appealed against by GMP – and no prosecution was brought.
“I felt let down. I know they believed me, they said to me at the end that something should have been done.”
The abuse then continued, with a number of men who she had not seen before joining in.
Social services became involved when she started to arrive at school dirty and sometimes smelling of alcohol.
At the time, she was living with an older victim but when she became pregnant by one of the men, she moved back in with her parents. She continued to receive phone calls from her abusers, and cars with drivers she recognised were parking outside.
“I wouldn’t go out of the house for nine months on my own without my mum or dad, because I was frightened,” she said.
It was not until summer 2011 that Nazir Afzal, the new regional head of the CPS, reversed the decision not to prosecute.
By then police were investigating allegations from another girl about on-street grooming in Heywood.
This eventually led to the successful prosecution of nine men for offences included rape, trafficking girls for sex and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.
The woman now wants her story to be told to help people spot the signs of grooming, which she describes as “a common thing that not enough people know about”.
She plans to become a social worker, partly due to the ordeal she suffered while still a vulnerable young girl.
“It will always be there, but I know how to deal with it,” she said.
“I’ve had a lot of problems in the past, suicide attempts and drinking, but now I know something is being done to prevent it happening again.”
Posted by The Template News, Current Affairs and Sport Website | Filed under Analysis, Children, Comment, Crime, Race Relations, Social Affairs, Women