The sexual exploitation of children has become a racialised crime. Politicians and tabloid newspapers want to demonise Muslims and claim “grooming” crimes are specifically a problem of Pakistani men targeting white girls. But these claims are based on a small selection of recent cases.
Now a new report also shows that white girls are not the only victims.The survey by the Muslim Women’s Network gives evidence that Asian girls, and boys, are also victims of sexual exploitation by both Asian and white abusers.
It shows that the suffering of Asian girls has been overlooked because of racist myths about the motivation of abusers. This research is limited to a small number of cases but it exposes the problem of portraying the crime as solely involving a certain section of the population.
Victims who don’t fit the assumptions may not get the help they need and abusers who don’t fit racist stereotypes may not get noticed. All statistics show that the vast majority of child sex offenders are white. But politicians and newspaper headlines never describe child sexual exploitation as a crime reflecting the culture and beliefs of white people.