Laura Sharman 04 March 2015

Women urged to speak out about abuse concerns

A new fund has been launched to help women report child sexual exploitation, amid fears some may feel uncomfortable reporting concerns to the authorities.

The £250,000 Women’s Empowerment Fund is being made available to voluntary and community groups to help women report abuse within their communities.

Both the Jay and Casey inquiries concluded that authorities should have done more to encourage women and girls in the Pakistani community to speak out about abuse in Rotherham.

Local government minister, Kris Hopkins said: ‘A number of barriers to speaking up exist, particularly for some women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups.

‘This may be through an inability to speak English sufficiently, limited knowledge of how reporting processes work, or a lack of confidence to take on patriarchal cultures. Others may themselves have been victims of abuse.

‘We are completely committed to challenging this abhorrent behaviour wherever it occurs and this new fund will support that work.’

Yesterday, prime minister David Cameron warned those that fail to protect children could face up to five years in prison.

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