Changing Lives comments on ...

Changing Lives comments on review into Operation Span

January 2024

1 Min Read

The continued reviews into the systemic failings for hundreds of victims are welcomed by us. However, I will add such systemic failings is not bound only to Rochdale.

I would also challenge and ask, ‘where are these child victims now’?

I can tell you about the reality for many child victims of sexual exploitation that were failed as children, they continue to be failed by the same systems in adulthood.

The prolonged abuse and trauma sustained by many of these children from historic sexual exploitation cases has had a significant impact on their daily functioning which remains with them in adulthood, leaving them extremely vulnerable. They are re-victimised as adults for sexual exploitation, and other forms of abuse. Often referred to as ‘problematic’ ‘complex’. Some have drug dependencies – some of which was created by perpetrators to create a co-dependency and incapacitate them. Some sadly have died a premature death because of drug use and/or other health related problems.

The light is shining right now on Rochdale and rightly so but the failings for our child survivors continue for many in adulthood and that is a national issue.

  • To read further about adult sexual exploitation see the following link to Change the Narrative Report –
  • To understand more about the premature deaths of women accessing our services, read the Make the link report -
  • To access additional Research and Policy influencing areas access the following -

Comments by Debra Cowey, Changing Lives, National Lead: Adult Sexual Exploitation (ASE), Survival Sex & Sex Work.