Guest column: We will fight until every sexual abuse victim gets the justice they deserve

John Mann MP
John Mann MP

Two years ago a local man bravely came forward to share his story of abuse whilst he was fostered as a child and he asked for an apology from those who allegedly failed to help him at the time.

I raised his case in Parliament and a year later he was given a formal apology by Nottinghamshire County Council.

After this case was brought to me, I called for an investigation into institutionalised child abuse.

I have had many Bassetlaw constituents contact me telling me about their experiences of child abuse – and how they had tried to report it but nothing was done.

One of these residents included a woman who was abused by her social worker whilst she was in care.

Last week, this abuser was brought to justice, 20 years after he committed these crimes.

Raymond Griffin, a former social worker in a Blackpool children’s home, has been given a sentence of 19 years for the despicable crimes he committed back in the 1990s.

This is one of the longest sentences an individual 
has received for these crimes.

And I commend the victim in coming forward and sharing her experiences.

This sentence came after a long battle to get the case re-opened after it was dismissed back in February 2013 — a decade after it was first reported.

The police did not pursue this case any further, even after the victim came forward and reported what had happened to her whilst she was in care.

This is unacceptable treatment of those victims who bravely speak out against people who exploited their position of power.

I have long campaigned on this issue in Parliament and have worked closely with Bassetlaw residents who are victims of child abuse to get the justice they deserve.

And I’m proud to have been appointed as a core participant to the independent inquiry into sexual abuse in Nottinghamshire.

In this role, I will represent every person who has come to me as a victim of child abuse.

I want every abuser to face the consequences of their actions and I will continue to expose the institutions that worked to cover up the abuse of children and dismissed their cases unfairly.

For too long a blind eye has been turned on abused children – the victims deserve justice.

Last week’s sentence took a long time to arrive at and it showed the police were wrong to dismiss the case ten years ago.

But it also shows that the fight to bring child abusers to justice is worth it.

I will continue to work so that every child abuser is brought to justice and to ensure that survivors are given appropriate support in the aftermath of these vile activities.