(Warning: This letter contains violent and sexually explicit references)
I was very young when it started.
I have a very fuzzy memory of the very beginning. My childhood friend remembers me being picked up from a primary school by an older man and being given ketamine, coming home completely out of it, with lots of new underwear, so it began earlier than I remember. My parents worked a lot, so they weren’t really around to notice anything. My friend did at some point tell my parents, but I’m not sure when she did that.
We ended up moving areas, but not too far, now my earliest clear memory starts at around 13/14. We had moved house and I was waiting to be accepted into a school, from what I remember. This man, the very same man picking me up from primary school came to my parents’ home while they were out working, and while my brother was at his school. It was a morning. His name was Jason, I don’t know if he was a Muslim. He was 28 or in his early 30s.
I was quite naive. He had come to take photos of me for a modelling portfolio — at least that’s what he said. They ended up being pictures in my underwear. Eventually he said we needed a different environment and asked if there was a bedroom we could use. I took him to my parents’ bedroom. I thought nothing of it, I didn’t realise it would get worse.
He took more pictures. Then he told me to take everything off and gave me some stockings to put on. I remember the feeling of my stomach turning over, I was really scared. But I did as I was told.
As far as I am aware, I had never been naked in front of a man before then. It’s hard to know for sure with what my friend has recently told me about the ketamine.
Anyway, more pictures were taken. After a while, I heard my brother come through the door with his friends. It would have been school lunchtime. I panicked, jumped up and held the door shut, I shouted to him not to come up the stairs as I had just got out of the bath. By the time I turned around Jason had taken off his clothes. Again I was shocked. I’d never seen a naked man before. In fact, I’d never even kissed a boy.
I felt myself going red with embarrassment. I told him he would have to go as soon as my brother left. He told me I had better be quiet or my brother would hear me and my parents would find out what I had been up to. He forced himself into me and raped me. I remember him laughing and saying to me, you’re a virgin, aren’t you.
I’ll never forget the smug look on his face in that moment. When he was done with me, he threw money into the bed and told me to buy some nice underwear and that he would be in touch.
The minute he left, I ran a hot bath and just lay on the floor crying while I waited for it to fill.
I felt so ashamed and dirty.
Everything changed that day. I didn’t come out of my room unless I had to. I barely ate. I hated myself.
It wasn’t long until he was back in touch, demanding that I see his friends. The majority were Pakistani Muslim men. If I objected, he threatened to show my parents the photos of me.
I was terrified of them finding out, so I did as I was told.
When the pictures didn’t bother me anymore, and I objected, I would get beatings instead. My ribs were kicked in several times, leaving massive bruises. I was hit with a chain. I was gang raped. I became very compliant, because saying no always lead to much worse. The lives of my family were threatened by Jason and his friends: they said my house would be burned down while we slept, or people would come with baseball bats. I didn’t want my family hurt, so I just did everything I was told.
I have seen some horrendous things, heard some disgusting things when they talked amongst each other about the evil things they do to their wives. The men often spoke in groups about the horrific things they did to their wives and other women. I had to sit and listen.
I was made to talk to their wives on the phone while they raped me, on many occasions. They found it funny, the men.
I have also been through some unimaginable things. I have had a knife held to my throat while I was raped and told by my rapist that he could kill me then put me under the floorboards of his home and no one would know because he was going to Pakistan in a week. I was 16 or 17 years old.
I have had a drill held to my knee while I was sat in a lounge room with around 6 other men, who all laughed and talked in their own language. All of these men were Pakistani Muslims. This all happened while they were waiting for their turn to rape the girl in the other room. This is how they worked. It was a bit like a production line.
I remember it all very well. I would be taken to one of many places, the back of a shop, a takeaway, a taxi office, a barber shop, wooded areas or countryside very late at night, which was terrifying; they threatened to leave me there once. Most of all I was taken to houses or flats, on the odd occasion a hotel. A lot of the time I was taken to flats they were renovating.
After some time I was no longer having to see just one man at a time as standard. I would be taken to a flat by 2 or 3 men, and when we got there, most often there would be more men waiting inside — on average around 8 men one after the other.
I’d be put in a room and told to take off all of my clothes. I would have to lay there and each man would take his turn one after the other, sometimes some of them would come back again. Sometimes more would show up.
I wasn’t allowed to move, clean myself up, until they were all finished with me. I was not allowed to leave that bed even to use the bathroom until they said so, and most of the time there was no running water or toilet paper, at very best there was cold running water. None of the men used protection, so I caught multiple STIs several times. I wasn’t allowed to use protection. I felt disgusting, so dirty.
Each time I was taken off with these men, sometimes this would happen two or three times a day. Whenever they wanted me, I had to go, whatever time of day it was. I missed a lot of school because of this.
It didn’t matter if I was crying while they raped me, they would laugh and do it anyway.
These are some of the things they did to me:
- I have had a razor blade squeezed into the palm of my hand.
- I have had a knife to my throat more than once. Also a knife held to my stomach.
- I have been told how I could be murdered and put under the floorboards by a Muslim man while he raped me, holding the knife in one hand, my wrists pinned to the bed with the other.
- I’ve been taken to the woods after midnight and threatened to be left there if I didn’t do as asked.
- I’ve been peed on, spat on, slapped, kicked, punched, called a white whore.
- They tried to get me to marry Muslim men into the country.
- They wanted to take me to Pakistan a few times. Luckily for me, I didn’t have a passport.
- I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve been passed to Muslim groups.
- There were other girls. I wasn’t the only one. There was a lot they did to us. None of them were ever nice.
- I was told if I ever told anyone what was happening to me, I’d have acid poured down my throat.
I remember one afternoon being taken into a room by two men, one being quite drunk. I tried to leave and he threw a vodka bottle at me and flew at me. His friend stopped him beating me and started to talk to him in their language and before I knew it I was pinned between them both and they both raped me. They were laughing as I cried.
They then made me sit with them while they finished their drinks. Eventually they allowed me to leave. I walked 2 miles to get home.
I self-harmed a lot, so I am now covered in scars. I did it at first to make myself less attractive to these men, hoping they wouldn’t want to touch me. That never worked, one of them wanted to cut me some more, for blood play.
I tried to commit suicide several times, as I saw no escape from this. I have no idea how I survived a recent overdose, I took 630 mg of codeine, along with sleeping pills and a bottle of alcohol. The last time I tried to commit suicide was about 3 weeks ago. I had just found out that two of my rapists who I thought were dead were actually alive. One of them has a very high position in the Pakistani government and one of them is related to Deputy Mayor of my home town . All this just pushed me over the edge.
The English “justice” system is crap. When I was around 15, my mum called the police. The officer sent to deal with me was a well over 6 feet tall built up black man who I found intimidating. He seemed angry with me, asking me very intimate and upsetting questions. When I asked him to stop, he said I had to get used to it, as this is what I would have to deal with in court. He told me that if I were to testify, I would get no protection. For that reason, I never took it further.
The police told my mother that I was a known prostitute and to leave me to it, that I’d stop when I was ready.
In anger, my mum took my phone and rang Jason. He laughed and told her what he did to me in her bed and that I loved it and couldn’t keep my hands off him.
After a while, I would have been just about 16, my mum had to kick me out because it was all getting too much. My mental state was bad, men were showing up at our home, hanging around in gangs outside the house in cars. It was too much for her and she had to protect my brother too, so I had to go.
I went to live in a youth hostel, where things went from bad to worse. I was eventually controlled by a Muslim man in his forties or fifties. His name was Yusuf.
I have records dating back about 14 years of me trying to get help, telling medical professionals that I was gang raped, and them not believing me. I have been pregnant 11 times that I know of and have had seven abortions.I told the doctors about being gang raped but they didn’t believe me. Only 2 people ever believed me. One was a social worker and one was an occupational therapist.
In 2013 a man who had been pestering me for a long time came to my house and pushed himself through my front door. He said he wanted me to find other young girls for him. I said I didn’t know any and managed to get rid of him. A couple of weeks later he put money through my door with a note saying it was a gift. He had given me his phone number so I called him and told him I didn’t want his money. I arranged to meet him to return it.
He still wouldn’t leave me alone.
This is one of the reasons I went to live in Australia with relations. I often feel like I’ll never escape them. I’ve been to Australia several times to get away from them, but I’m unable to get a visa to stay there permanently
Some still see me today and talk brazenly about the things they did, and still do to other girls. I am utterly disgusted at the lack of interest from the police and the lack of protection they have given me despite the information I have given them. I managed to track down the identity of about 60-80 of these men by finding one of them on Facebook and looking through his friends list. I went to tell the police. I had a meeting with two police officers but while I was giving them the names the officers stopped me because they said they had to be somewhere else. They can’t have done anything because I still see at least five of these men in my home town driving the taxis.
The police said that for me to press charges they would have to use my name in their reports. But these rapists know where I live. They have threatened to harm my family if I go to the police.
I never get into a taxi where I live because they’re all run by Pakistani Muslims. But a few weeks ago I had to use one because I was running late. The driver was one of my rapists. He recognised me. He said he’d recognise that face anywhere. He said I didn’t give any trouble like the other girls and tried to make me see him again.
He told me they have other girls now. This is the worst thing. They are still committing these crimes with other young British girls. He gave me his card. I took it so that I’d have his name and phone number. I went to the police with his details. They wrote his details down but he’s still driving around in a taxi. He’s still raping other young girls.
They ruined a big part of my life. I have moved several times but it’s ineffective. A bit of me feels frightened that, if they catch me on my own, I might react in the way I used to when I was younger. I’d just do what they want because it’s easier than fighting them because if I did they’d get really nasty. But now, I am mainly angry. I can’t let them win. I’m afraid, yes, but I am now doing what I can to get the message out there of what goes on with these gangs.
That was the statement I gave at the last MARIAS conference.
I have moved house since which is great. No one knows where I live now.
I decided last year after giving the police anonymous information for several months, to go ahead and give them what they needed to be able to act on what I was telling them. I agreed to give an official statement. That included several video statements. Lots of intrusive, uncomfortable questions about what happened in raw detail.
This case was worked on for over a year.
My medical files were accessed, I gave the police some of them myself to save time. Old police files that were originally lost,were found by the officer dealing with my case. I don’t know how she found them but she did.
Witnesses were spoken to (including a social worker and another girl in the same situation as I was in – we were often taken together. She was younger than I was)
Forensic evidence taken from one of the rapes, by three men in 2009 , was processed for the case, but the results had shown three white men (the definitely weren’t white, they were Pakistani men) … It was explained to me how this could have happened … very technical so I don’t quite get it.
Even after all of that, it was decided that it wouldn’t go to court. Part of the reason being my memory gaps.. Which are there due to my PTSD.. Which obviously stems from being trafficked.
So after all of that … it was for nothing. These men are still on the street … to do whatever they want to do to girls.
They still smile and wave at me when they see me in the street, which happens every single time I go for counselling. There’s no way to my counsellors office without seeing them. Sometimes they even talk to me like I’m a friend of theirs.
I do think the officer working in my case did all that she could but it’s not her decision at the end of it all whether or not it goes to court.
By giving the official statement and working with the police to build a case, I was hoping that these men would be brought to justice so that they couldn’t hurt any more girls. Now I know that’s not going to happen, I’m not sure what else I can do to help protect other girls.