A teenager was allegedly sexually assaulted by several men within an hour in east London while making her way back home, illustrating just how bad the sexual assault epidemic truly is in Great Britain.
The first incident took place when the 17-year-old lost track of her friends after going to Tower Hamlets club.
On Sep. 29, the girl was carried away by a man just shortly before midnight. A street surveillance camera captured the girl being taken away by the unknown man on Cambridge Heath Road, and then led into a doorway down the same street.
According to The Telegraph, items of the girl’s clothing were later found nearby, but the man was never caught on camera again.
After midnight, the teenager was then seen on surveillance footage while struggling to walk down another street.
The video then shows a man on a bicycle following her as she walks toward the Bethnal Green train station. As the man approaches her, the camera catches them reaching Corfield Street. Moments later, the man is seen leaving the area, and the girl appears again, now with her clothes ruffled.
Detectives with the Metropolitan Police's child abuse and sexual offenses command say that at 12:45 a.m., the girl suffered a third attack, now involving two or three different, one of whom can be seen on surveillance footage bending down between some parked cars. That’s where detectives believe the girl was raped.
Eventually, a passerby noticed the girl lying on the ground. The witness told police the girl was in a state of distress.
Detectives said they believe the girl had been drugged and are investigating further. Images of at least two men believed to have been part of the assault were released. So far, the attackers haven't been brought to justice.
Suzanne Jordan, detective inspector in charge of child abuse cases, called the incident a “horrific multiple sexual assault on an young female who was simply making her way home after a night out.”
Jordan said that evidence suggests that at least two out of the three attacks were “serious sexual assaults,” and authorities are determined to find all men involved.
With the number of rapes and sexual assault reports doubling in the U.K. in the last four years, it’s clear that local officials and the public must start debating the tragic increase and how to tackle these cases so more criminals are caught.
As attackers are seldom brought to justice, many continue to prey on the vulnerable, thinking they will never pay for their crimes. This status quo must change because no woman should feel unsafe, even when walking home on her own.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Edgar Su