LONDON: Two-thirds of the cases of sexual abuse of British girls from the South Asian origin involved Pakistani families, a report released by the Muslim Women’s Network, UK, said on Tuesday.
The report revealed that most of the cases tend to go unnoticed as authorities focus on gangs that target white youngsters.
Although there has been a series of high-profile British court cases in which men of South Asian heritage were convicted of sexually exploiting vulnerable white girls, authorities are failing to spot cases in which men target girls from their own ethnic group.
Asian girls are reluctant to report sexual abuse to the police because they fear that they will not be believed or that they will bring dishonour to their families, according to the group.
The Muslim Women’s Network said it had uncovered 35 cases in which young Asians had been sexually exploited. Most of the victims said their abusers were men from the same ethnic group.
Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England, said there was a widespread myth that gangs of Asian men were targeting only white girls, motivated by “hatred and contempt for white females”.
In reality, sexual predators target the most accessible victims – often those from the same ethnic background, she added.
The group admitted that it is difficult to estimate the scale of the abuse, and stressed it was also not clear whether or not Asian girls face greater exploitation than their white schoolmates.