NSPCC: “It’s quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.”

This week, a prosecuting barrister working on a child sexual abuse case has been barred from practising, pending investigation, after calling a 13-year-old survivor of sexual abuse at the hands of a 41-year-old paedophile ‘predatory’. The Independent has reported that the Office for Judicial Complaints is also looking into complaints about the judge who was overseeing the case, who appeared to accept the comments.


This event has resulted in public outrage and a petition on the change.org website, which has so far received support from over 30,000 signatories. The woman behind the campaign, Jo, who is also a survivor of sexual abuse, told The Independent that the campaign is sending out a “huge message that we will not stand for blaming the victims of sexual abuse for what has happened to them”. Meanwhile The Telegraph reported that Alan Wardle, head of corporate affairs at the NSPCC, said that: “In this case, the child was 13 and the man was 41 – it’s pretty clear who the predator was…it’s quite clear that a 13-year-old child cannot be complicit in her own abuse.”


In cases of childhood sexual abuse the practice of grooming can leave survivors feeling confused, and the ensuing feelings of shame and guilt can last a lifetime. At The Grove we understand the nature of childhood sexual abuse and grooming, and we also understand how the trauma and memories of experiences of sexual abuse in childhood can prevail into adulthood and continue to affect how you live your life. Additionally many survivors of childhood sexual abuse closely know, or knew, their perpetrator. You may be considering confronting your abuser, and want to talk this through with an impartial person beforehand. Or it may be that you are simply looking to tell your story and have it heard.


At The Grove our counsellors are trained and experienced in working with survivors of sexual abuse. We understand how difficult it can be to come for help, and will offer a supportive and non-judgemental environment in which you can have your experiences witnessed and validated. Let’s talk first, before making any decisions about where to go from here.