Welcome to my second ReelReviews post! I was thinking of making this every week on a Saturday/Sunday because I watch a lot of movies and TV shows alongside reading a lot, and it’s okay if other people aren’t too hooked on them because I genuinely really like writing about them.
Genre: TV Show drama, documentry
Stars: Molly Windsor, Ria Zmitrowicz, Liv Hill
This is a story based on three young girls who were groomed, sexually abused and trafficked by British Pakistani men in Rochdale, and of the failure of the authorities to do anything about it. Based on real, true events but names have been changed for privacy reasons and it’s demonstrated through acting.
Trigger Warnings: racism, sex, rape, sexual abuse, sex trafficking, domestic abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, problematic authorities, accusations (if there are any more that I forgot to add, please let me know)
One of the reasons why I love this three-episode series is because it focuses on the victims and not rapists, and it focuses on how the authorities can deny to do anything about it based on pretty silly reasons, including the reputation of teenagers and how they might not be believed in court.
It shows exactly how these things can happen, and how easily they can be done. In the case of Holly, who is the primary focus of the TV series, she had an argument with her parents and lived in a household where none of them had a good relationship with each other. This pushed her further into the arms of her new found friends, Amber and Ruby (both are sisters), and the circle of men they associate with. The men gifted the girls with vodka and food without telling Holly the purpose of giving them these, grooming them as the girls become closer and closer to the men. One of the men does eventually ask for Holly something in return, and rapes her.
Their situation keeps getting worse and the authorities let all three girls down – the police, the CPS, social services, the council and the criminal justice system. This is remarkable evidence as to what little these services do for young women that are abused by men, especially by sex trafficking.
The abuse starts on Holly when she is fifteen years old, and it’s not until she’s nineteen and out of the abuse ring with the help of her parents do the police do something about her situation and want to give justice. All of these court scenes are based on real life trial transcripts, where people talk to Holly and to Ruby like they were lying and even to a point like they tricked the men into sleeping with them and are angry that they did not recieve the money they wanted for doing this. It’s extremely difficult to watch.
The girls’ acting, and everyone elses actually, is amazing – beyond amazing, actually. If I’m not seeing them in every British TV show and movie, I’m going to be upset. The subject of race is spoken about, as well, which is good because I was starting to worry that this show was in favour of white people, and that everyone who isn’t white was the danger. Instead, in the final episode, they had a discussion about how this is about a very small group of Asian men doing sex trafficking and the victims of abuse within the UK are overwhelmingly done by white men (around 90%).
If you are able to and won’t find this show too triggering or difficult to watch, I’d really reccomend it, as it’s extremely educational about the authorties and sex trafficking victims in the UK. It also shows the step-by-step stages of how easy it can be to manipulate these young and vunerable girls into sex trafficking and why/how they can be protected.