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Sexual violence among children is widespread within gangs, report says

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 26 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7098
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

Sexual assault, including rape, is being carried out by children as young as 12 within gangs, says a detailed report from the children’s commissioner for England.

The report, If Only Someone had Listened, is the result of a two year inquiry into child sexual exploitation and gangs.1 It says that young girls are often treated as commodities within gangs, passed around as sexual playthings or used to ensnare rival gang members. Despite increased awareness of child sexual exploitation, too many agencies and services were failing to safeguard children and teenagers effectively, the report concludes.

The deputy children’s commissioner, Sue Berelowitz, said in a foreword to the report, “We have found …

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