'Being raped by a gang is normal – it's about craving to be accepted'
Former gang member reveals how women suffer shocking sexual abuse in return for 'status'
Mark Townsend | Guardian | Saturday 18 February 2012 11.46 GMT
A female former gang member has exposed the growing levels of sexual violence against young women who join them, saying that many are willing to risk being raped in return for the status of membership.
Isha Nembhard, who was part of an 80-strong gang in Peckham, south London, said some girls readily accepted that they would be sexually abused when associating with male gangs.
The 20-year-old said that the problem had reached a point where being raped was becoming "normalised" among many young women. "Girls who are getting treated very badly know what they are getting into. They sleep with a boy and the boy asks if she will sleep with all his friends.
"It's about low self-esteem and a craving for attention. Even if they know it's wrong, they will do anything to get acceptance," she said.
"A lot of girls are sort of prostituting themselves to have sexual relationships within a gang and get treated in a bad way. For example, she might know about what happens to girls in the gang but still sleeps with all of them just for the status."
Nembhard, who was a teenage drug dealer, said that even those who are abused and called "pieces of shit" by gang members maintained sexual relationships with them because they felt "that they couldn't do better".
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She added that cultural and social trends had exacerbated the problem since she left school. "When I was growing up, girls were more boisterous. I used to be a tomboy, but nowadays a lot of girls who go to school are more girly-girly and make sure they put on their makeup and wear the right sort of skirts. It's changed dramatically."
Nembhard said that girls tended to be more sexually active before the age of 16 than before. "In my day it wasn't like that," she said.
Social networking sites like Facebook had, she added, helped to encourage promiscuity among young women. "You've got young girls exposing themselves on there, making it normal, and so others follow suit."
Earlier this month the home secretary, Theresa May, announced £1.2m of new money over three years to tackle the issue as part of the government's revamped anti-gangs strategy.
Meanwhile, a senior Scotland Yard officer has voiced concern that the problem of young women being sexually abused by male gangs had grown sufficiently large to be classified as a "mainstream issue".
The Metropolitan Police detective in charge of protecting vulnerable young women from falling into gang culture, Detective Chief Inspector Petrina Cribb, said that, although police were targeting girls as young as 12 to warn them of the risks associated with male gangs, she believed that educating youngsters of the dangers should begin even earlier, at primary school.
Cribb also admitted concern about the levels of ignorance among young women about sexual abuse, saying that many did not understand that being forced to give oral sex was rape. Cribb, who manages the Met's Heart programme, which educates young people about the risks associated with joining gangs, added: "A lot of young people do not know what is the law, particularly with regard to being coerced into oral sex, which is rape, but some think it is just playing around.
"Young girls find that they may have no choice – a young girl who is surrounded by a group of boys might feel it's normal to go along with it."
Former girl gang members say that despite being aware of the risks many girls with low self-esteem are willing to risk being raped by entire gangs to increase their "status".
The Heart programme, which involves police, local authorities and charities, aims to teach women about relationship issues, rather than the traditional emphasis on sex education. Already 180 girls identified as at risk have begun one-on-one tutorials for the rest of the year, with another 725 workshop places available to teach girls what is unacceptable in a relationship.
The scheme has so far been introduced in three London boroughs – Lewisham, Newham and Waltham Forest – but Cribb said she felt "very strongly" that every school should be delivering a form of relationship education to empower young women. "We are trying to explain that girls actually have a choice and that consent is key to a sexual relationship," she said.
Gifford Sutherland of community group Foundation 4 Life, which uses reformed former gang members to educate vulnerable youngsters, said sexual abuse was not the only risk that gangs posed to girls. "Not only are girlfriends manipulated by young men for sex, but they become associates, hiding firearms, carrying drugs, and sometimes these young girls find that they have no choice.
"The key concern is that this sort of behaviour has been normalised, that they go through an initiation process or they are coerced into sex. We show that is not a healthy relationship."
Although the Met has no detailed data on the numbers of potential victims, it believes that the estimated 250 active criminal gangs in the capital account for one in seven reported rapes. A survey by the NSPCC has suggested that a third of teenage girls have been forced into sexual activity against their will, while research by the Race on the Agenda charity shows that rape is used to punish girl gang members.
However, those with first-hand experience of the way in which gangs operate say that the factors driving such abuse are complex.
» » » » [Daily Mail]
Rape 'now gang weapon of choice'
Angus Stickler | BBC | Today programme
[NRK] Oslo Police: All 41 rapes committed 2007-2009 in Oslo, committed by Non-Ethnic Norwegians (03:25)
Young women are being exploited and subjected to sexual violence as a result of gang reprisals, according to a report.
Interviews with more than 350 women and girls by the charity Race on the Agenda revealed the use of rape to punish girl gang members and relatives of rivals.
The women and girls interviewed were all associated with gangs in London.
Report author Carlene Firmin said rape was being used "as a weapon of choice" and few services were equipped to help.
She described one interview with a girl who had been arrested for selling drugs for a gang.
"Upon her bail, she was kidnapped and she was raped by a number of the gang members as a punishment and to silence her," she said.
The report says little is known about the numbers of women and girls affected by gang violence - and highlights how the few services that do exist are chronically under-resourced and over-stretched.
Peaches Cadogan, a former gang member who now works with charity Reality Bites trying to help gang members, backed up the report.
She said girls involved in gangs did not know how to get out of the abusive situation, and feared the backlash if they said no.
She said: "This is real life - this is them - because at the end of the day - you're not only putting yourself in that situation - you're also putting families in a situation.
"Those gang members have no problem in just putting a gun in your mother's mouth - these things happen on a day to day basis."
We tried to speak with some of these young women - but none would give us an interview.
Life of violence
The focus of the debate on gangs has long centred on young men involved in knife and gun crime. But has the gang culture's impact on girls been overlooked?
The issue of girls involved in gang crime is not just confined to black communities living in the impoverished estates of London.
In London and Glasgow, a BBC investigation has spoken to young female gang members. Their names have been changed, but their stories reveal the depths of girl involvement in gangs.
"I've beaten up people - I've had 10 people rush me at one time - got my head bust open with a bottle. When I give out violence, it's because they give out violence to me - so it's pay back," said Rebecca, a London gang member.
She was smoking and dealing cannabis from the age of 13 and started selling Class A drugs when she left school.
"Whenever you get involved in Class A drugs and you're selling it - it comes with gun crime, knife crime, it comes with all of it.
"I've held a gun myself - not my gun...it's nothing to you - you do it without question."
The East End of Glasgow has one of the highest knife crime rates in western Europe. Young white men are predominantly involved, but in recent years there has been a shift.
According to workers on a youth project on the Easterhouse estate, children as young as seven are getting drawn into the violence and increasing numbers of girls are getting involved.
Youth worker Stephanie Brady said: "The girls these days they join gangs to try and make friends. I think they feel as if they need to be a part of something - they've no real confidence or self-esteem."
There is a distinct difference with London - here it's not about the drugs. It's simply alcohol-fuelled battles between rival teenage gangs.
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"It's getting worser and worser so it is," said Louise, 16, who joined a gang when she was just 13.
"Lasses are just as bad as boys - lasses will just go and start - certain lasses they act like boys and dress like boys - they'll go about stabbing other lasses - battering other lasses and just laughing - just pick their victims."
Once in a gang you dare not venture from the boundaries of your patch. Louise made a mistake - she started dating a boy from a different area and the gang targeted her family.
"My mum got attacked when I was not there - they battered her," she said.
"She had bruises all over her face and her eye was all the way out and it was - she was scared - scared of staying in our house."
In Glasgow at least the girls are escaping the targeted sexual violence, although they do speak of underage sex fuelled by drink and drugs.
In London and Glasgow these girls are the second or third generation associated with gangs - they know no different, having grown up in and around violent crime.
It is a world largely hidden from mainstream society. It is only now that it's beginning to hit the political radar - these are teenage girls drawn into a world of violent crime - from which there is little chance of escape.
"You know you're always always looking behind your shoulder 24-7 a day for everyone - you get me," said gang member Rebecca.
"So it's hard when you're living that life and you started so young - it's hard to get out of it you know."
» » » » [BBC] :: [Guardian]
Muslim rape wave in Sweden
Majority Rights | Fjordman
Oslo Police Report: 83 of 86 Rapes in Past 5 Years by Non Westerners (02:17)
Swedish girls Malin and Amanda were on their way to a party on New Year’s Eve when they were assaulted, raped and beaten half to death by four Somali immigrants. Sweden’s largest newspaper has presented the perpetrators as “two men from Sweden, one from Finland and one from Somalia”, a testimony as to how bad the informal censorship is in stories related to immigration in Sweden.
Similar incidents are reported with shocking frequency, to the point where some observers fear that law and order is completely breaking down in the country. The number of rape charges in Sweden has tripled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six - 6 - times as common today as they were a generation ago. Most other kinds of violent crime have rapidly increased, too. Instability is spreading to most urban and suburban areas.
According to a new study from the Crime Prevention Council, Brå, it is four times more likely that a known rapist is born abroad, compared to persons born in Sweden. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. According to these statistics, almost half of all perpetrators are immigrants. In Norway and Denmark, we know that non-Western immigrants, which frequently means Muslims, are grossly overrepresented on rape statistics. In Oslo, Norway, immigrants were involved in two out of three rape charges in 2001. The numbers in Denmark were the same, and even higher in the city of Copenhagen with three out of four rape charges. Sweden has a larger immigrant, including Muslim, population than any other country in northern Europe. The numbers there are likely to be at least as bad as with its Scandinavian neighbors. The actual number is thus probably even higher than what the authorities are reporting now, as it doesn’t include second generation immigrants. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in Svea high court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents.
A group of Swedish teenage girls has designed a belt that requires two hands to remove and which they hope will deter would-be rapists. “It’s like a reverse chastity belt,” one of the creators, 19-year-old Nadja Björk, told AFP, meaning that the wearer is in control, instead of being controlled. Björk and one of her partners now plan to start a business to mass produce the belts and are currently in negotiations with potential partners. “But I’m not doing this for the money,” she said. “I’m really passionate about stopping rape. I think it’s terrible.” In an online readers’ poll from the newspaper Aftonbladet, 82% of the women expressed fear to go outside after dark. There are reports of rapes happening in broad daylight. 30 guests in a Swedish public bath watched as 17 girl was raped recently, and nobody did anything. The girl was first approached by 16-year-old boy. He and his friends followed her as she walked away to the grotto, and inside the grotto he got her blocked in the corner, ripped off her bikini and raped her, while his friend held her firm.
There are even reports of Swedish girls being attacked and cut with knives on the dance floor. A 21-year-old man who came to Sweden a couple of years ago admits that he has a low opinion of Swedish females –or “whores” as he calls them. He is now prosecuted, suspecteded of cutting eight girls in several pubs. He is also charged with raping a girl at a private party, and with sexually harassing another girl in the apartment. Several witnesses claim that the 21 year old has said that he hates Swedish women.
Some Muslim immigrants admit their bias quite openly. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are “asking for rape.” Apparently, he’s not the only one thinking this way. “It is not as wrong raping a Swedish girl as raping an Arab girl,” says Hamid. “The Swedish girl gets a lot of help afterwards, and she had probably fucked before, anyway. But the Arab girl will get problems with her family. For her, being raped is a source of shame. It is important that she retains her virginity until she marries.”
It was no coincidence that it was a Swedish girl that was gang raped in Rissne – this becomes obvious from the discussion with Ali, Hamid, Abdallah and Richard. All four have disparaging views on Swedish girls, and think this attitude is common among young men with immigrant background. “It is far too easy to get a Swedish whore…… girl, I mean;” says Hamid, and laughs over his own choice of words. “Many immigrant boys have Swedish girlfriends when they are teenagers. But when they get married, they get a proper woman from their own culture who has never been with a boy. That’s what I am going to do. I don’t have too much respect for Swedish girls. I guess you can say they get fucked to pieces.”
The number of rapes committed by Muslim immigrants in Western nations are so extremely high that it is difficult to view them only as random acts of individuals. It resembles warfare. Muhammad himself had forced sex (rape) with several of his slave girls/concubines. This is perfectly allowed, both in the sunna and in the Koran.
If you postulate that many of the Muslims in Europe view themselves as a conquering army and that European women are simply war booty, it all makes perfect sense and is in full accordance with Islamic law. Western women are not so much regarded by most Muslims as individuals, but as “their women,” the women who “belong” to hostile Infidels.
They are booty, to be taken, just as the land of the Infidels someday will drop, it is believed, into Muslim hand. This is not mere crime, but ideologically-justified crime or rather, in Muslim eyes, attacks on Infidels scarcely qualify as crime. Western women are cheap and offensive. We Muslims are here, here to stay, and we have a right to take advantage of this situation. It is our view of the matter that should prevail.
Western goods, like the land on which we now live, belong to Allah and to the best of men—his Believers. Western women, too, essentially belong to us—our future booty. No wonder there is a deep and increasing suspicion against Muslims in the Swedish and European public.
Sweden has national elections less than a year from now. Here is a suggested draft email, in English and Swedish, that you can send in to Swedish politicians and media to protest the lack of honesty about what Muslim immigration is doing to the country:
I would hereby like to protest against the passivity and the lack of resolve demonstrated by Swedish authorities in the face of a huge spike in the number of rapes in their country. It is time for Swedish politicians, Swedish media and the Swedish public to admit that the large increase in the number of rape charges in their country during the past generation is intimately tied to the immigration that has taken place during that same time period. The attitude among many Muslim men is that women who are not veiled and act properly submissive have themselves to blame if something happens to them. Such a line of thinking is incompatible with the culture of freedom in any Western country. It means that as long as Muslim immigration continues, Sweden will continue to import an Islamic culture that will destroy women’s freedom in Swedish society.
The strains caused by immigration are now so large that unless something serious is done about this, pretty soon Sweden will face the same kind of riots we have recently seen in France, and will approach the point of permanent ethnic and religious strife. Swedish politicians and media need to put the well-being of their daughters above that of political correctness and their own Multicultural vanity, and it is shocking that they actually need to be reminded of this.
It is an international embarrassment to Sweden as a nation that Swedes travel around the world to lecture about women’s rights, and at the same time their own young women are finding that their most basic rights, such as being able to go outside wearing normal clothes without being harassed, are slipping away. It’s a sham, and it needs to end. Unless Swedish authorities are able to provide basic security to a population that pays some of the highest tax rates in the world, the Swedish government should publicly admit its inadequacy and resign from office. At the very least, it should be honest enough to tell Swedish citizens that they have to provide security for themselves, and stop making it difficult for people to do this. The Swedish general elections are less than a year away, and this time, Muslim immigration needs to be raised to the very top of the public agenda.
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