This is the shocking true story of how a young girl from Rochdale came to be Girl A - the key witness in the trial of Britain's most notorious child sex ring.
Girl A was just fourteen when she was groomed by a group of Asian men. After being lured into their circle with gifts, she was plied with alcohol and systematically abused. She was just one of up to fifty girls to be 'passed around' by the gang. The girls were all under sixteen and forced to have sex with as many as twenty men in one night.
When details emerged a nation was outraged and asked how these sickening events came to pass. And now the girl at the very centre of the storm reveals the heartbreaking truth.
This book was given to me after a couple of people in my family had read it. It's not the sort of thing I'd normally pick up but I've been slowly making my way through it as my book of choice for bath times (I'm also re-reading Harry Potter and the books are too big to read in the bath!). You sometimes see stories like the one of Girl A's in the news and as awful as they are I often wonder how teenagers find themselves in such situations. In a society that is more aware than ever of such things how can families, the police and other establishments like social services not pick up on things like this. Some of my questions were answered by this book but some were not.
I am not denying that what Girl A went through is truly awful and how men could do such things to young girls is beyond me, it is not an easy read by far and I should warn you it is a little graphic in places. However I am still left wondering how the parents of this girl did not realise something was really wrong with their child, I cannot ever imagine my parents being so blind and ignorant to such situations or treating me like Girl A's parents initially treated her. The attitudes of the police in places was really shocking too, I mean are we really living in a society where it's acceptable for a police officer to ask a teenager who has just reported multiple rapes if she's just having sex with men for money?
It certainly threw up a lot of questions about the failings of family, the police, social services etc. The mixture of emotions though has left me confused. I felt sickened by what the men did to Girl A and other girls as young as 12, I felt angered that the police ignored multiple complaints from several girls about the gang and I felt baffled and angered by Girl A's parents and their attitudes.