The woman said the abuse was so extensive she cannot put a number on the number of abusers but believes it could have been as many as 100 who raped her
Image: Katie Pugh)
A grooming gang victim out for the first time said she was raped by so many men, she lost count of the number of abusers.
The woman, who was abused throughout her teens, said the attacks were so extensive she cannot put a number on the number of abusers – but believes it could have been as many as 100.
The woman was only 13 when she was groomed by a gang of men who sexually abused her for three years.
She told HullLive : “I’ve been in a black hole for so long and not able to get out – I felt like no one ever believed me when I was growing up.”
These are the heart-wrenching words of a young Hull woman, who, at the age of 13, was groomed by a gang of men and sexually abused for three years.
She says she was locked in a flat for two days by two men who abused her.
Both men, she claims, were charged over the crime, but the case was later dropped due to a lack of evidence.
She was later reported missing for several days while at the flat of one man who assaulted her.
Her abuser was arrested, but then let go due to lack of evidence and the victim unwilling to provide police with a statement.
The same man, she says, was recently jailed at Hull Crown Court over the abuse of other girls in the city.
“I think about that all the time, I know I can’t blame myself – but people are getting away with this stuff.”
At one point as a teen, she was told by a Children and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) worker she was classed as “one of the top three most vulnerable children in Hull”.
She told how she would be plied with drink and drugs at parties by older men, who she would later wake up to find abusing her.
“I went off the rails at 13,” she said. “All through my childhood I was bullied so when I started opening my mouth, I was getting into trouble.
“Then men started showing me a little bit of attention and buying me alcohol and I was flattered. At the time obviously I didn’t know it was grooming.
“I’d started drinking at 12 and by the time I was 13 I was on drugs and taking everything except crack and smack.”
Apart from the two incidents at the Spring Bank flat and at the other man’s flat, she has never reported the sexual abuse to Humberside Police as she was terrified of the repercussions.
“I feel like if anyone found out, I’d be put in someone’s car boot and never seen again. These are not nice people, even if they’re behind bars I’m scared they would know people who could come after me.”
Humberside Police confirmed they had been investigating women’s accounts of sexual exploitation under the two-year Operation Marksman.
Detective Chief Superintendent Phillip Ward said they had left “no stone unturned” looking into every disclosure made to them.
Some 34 arrests were made in this time, with detectives seizing 200 digital devices and 10,000 messages examined.
Det Chief Supt Ward said: “Despite two years of intensive investigation, analysis and examination, we share the disappointment and frustration that we have been unable to identify sufficient evidence to corroborate or support the accounts given to us by the victims.
“As a result, we have been unable to meet the Crown Prosecution Service’s evidential threshold for us to formally charge anyone in relation to Operation Marksman.”
Humberside Police continues to urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, historic or recent, to report it.
The victim we spoke to says she now wants any other girls who were abused to come forwards.
She added: “All my life I’ve been abused and I never felt like no one ever believed me. Even my own mum I feel wouldn’t believe me because she wouldn’t get me any help.”
“I want other girls to start speaking up and getting justice.”
Anyone who has experienced grooming or child sexual abuse can report it to police via 101.
Det Chief Supt Ward added: “You will be treated seriously, you will be provided appropriate support from the police and partner agencies and we will do everything we can to investigate the case fully and bring those that commit such crimes, to justice.”