Rotherham’s Grooming Gang: A Victim’s Story of Rape & Pregnancy

The victim of a Rotherham grooming gang has detailed her story of rape and subsequent pregnancy at the age of 15.

Grooming Gang: A Victim's Story of Rape & Pregnancy f


"How do I tell him? He had no one to talk to."

A Rotherham child sex abuse victim recalled the moment she told her son that she became pregnant with him after being raped by the ringleader of an Asian grooming gang.

Sammy Woodhouse was raped by Arshid Hussain, the ringleader of a grooming gang in Rotherham when she was just 15 years old.

Meanwhile, he was 25 at the time.

At the time, she was one of 18 girls who thought Hussain was her boyfriend and was unaware of the nature of the assault.

Hussain was ultimately sentenced to 35 years in prison for 23 crimes against nine females after Ms Woodhouse went public with her account.

In total, 18 other grooming gang members, including two of his siblings, were also imprisoned.

Now 37 years old, Ms Woodhouse has revealed that she struggled with how to talk to her son about the circumstances of his birth when he was around 12 years old.

She told the media: “When my son was born, I just loved him straight away.

“I didn’t care how he was born, who his dad was and I didn’t even recognise I’d been abused anyway.

“But when he got to about 12 years old and I started to come to terms with the fact that I was abused, I was panicking about what do I tell my son?

“He’s now going to find out that his mum’s been abused, he’s going to find that his dad was the person that committed it.”

Ms Woodhouse believes that children born from rape are not receiving adequate support and that she had no idea how to approach the subject with her own child.

She said: “I didn’t know what to tell him. How do I tell him? He had no one to talk to.

“We weren’t in contact with anyone that has been through this.

“He and I just felt very alone in things. And I remember him saying to me, ‘We’re the only family going through this’.

“I said, ‘Well, actually, we’re not but we’re the ones that are public, you’ve got no idea how many people will have a similar story to us’.”

In an effort to raise awareness about this issue, Ms Woodhouse has produced a documentary for BBC News and BBC 100 Women titled Out of the Shadows: Born from Rape.

In the documentary, she speaks to other women who have given birth as a result of rape, as well as their children.

One such individual is Neil, who was adopted at birth.

Neil’s mother was raped by an unknown assailant in a park and subsequently discovered she was expecting a child.

Neil said: “The worst thing is feeling like you’re alone. You’re questioning everything about yourself. ‘Do I look like a rapist?’.

“Looking in the mirror it was almost like I could see the man who raped my mother looking back at me.”

Ms Woodhouse’s experience highlights the need for more support for rape victims and their children.

While the trauma of rape can have long-lasting effects on survivors, it is important to recognise that the children born as a result of these assaults also face unique challenges.

These children may struggle with feelings of shame, guilt, and confusion as they try to come to terms with their origins.

They may also experience a sense of isolation and stigma due to their circumstances.

It is crucial that survivors of sexual assault and their children have access to the resources and support they need to heal and move forward.

This includes access to mental health services, counselling, and support groups.

It also involves raising awareness and breaking down the stigma surrounding sexual assault and its aftermath.

Ilsa is a digital marketeer and journalist. Her interests include politics, literature, religion and football. Her motto is “Give people their flowers whilst they’re still around to smell them.”

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