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A harrowing and gripping BBC One three-part series highlights how vulnerable girls were let down by authorities and sexually abused by Rochdale’s grooming gang.

The unsettling drama follows the lives of three victims who were plied with alcohol and drugs before groomed & abused by a group of middle-aged men for more than four years.

What really happened?

One victim revealed the abuse she was suffering in 2008, but police and prosecutors felt the allegations weren’t ‘credible’. The victim was ignored and the abuse continued.

It wasn’t until 2011 when an investigation was launched which found almost 50 girls were abused.

A total of nine men were found guilty of being involved in the sexual exploitation of young women, with the ring leader, Shabir Ahmed, then 59, given a 19-year sentence.

He was convicted of two rape charges, sexual assault, aiding and abetting rape, and trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

Safeline can help

Over five million viewers were split on Three Girls. Some were too horrified to watch, whilst others pleading for it to be shown in schools.short-skirts

This story deserves to be told to raise awareness of an issue which still happens today. One in four women are survivors of rape or sexual abuse and one in six men have been targets of rape or sexual abuse.

If you have been affected by issues raised in this series, Safeline are here to help.

We are a specialised charity working to prevent sexual abuse and to support those affected in their recovery. Safeline provides a range of services including counselling, prevention projects, and support via our national helplines & online.

To get in touch you can contact us here. Our details can also be found on the BBC action line here.

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