Don’t just Survive. Thrive.
The official website of Sammy Woodhouse
Don’t just Survive. Thrive.
The official website of Sammy Woodhouse
I am an upcoming author, public speaker, campaigner, fundraiser, consultant & assisting in training throughout the UK. My greatest achievement, I am a mum to 2 beautiful boys. I am also a young woman rebuilding my life after I was groomed and abused mentally, physically and sexually as a child and throughout my adult life.
In July 2013, I contacted Andrew Norfolk at The Times newspaper and handed over evidence that proved I was abused and failed by authorities. My story was published, naming the man that abused me, Hussain and the deputy leader of Rotherham council in August 2013. This triggered the Alexis Jay report, which exposed 1,400 children being abused and failed in Rotherham. A police investigation (Operation Clover & Operation Stovewood) was also launched into my abuse and into all non-recent child abuse cases in South Yorkshire making it the biggest investigation in the UK.
In February 2016, after testifying in court, Hussain was found guilty and sentenced to 35 years in prison alongside 5 others, for a total of 102 years. Four trials in total under Operation Clover & Thunder, 21 survivors, 20 criminals and a total sentencing of 290 years 6 months.
As an award winning campaigner, I have campaigned for improvements around counselling services, better national funding, mandatory education, licensing policies and Sammy’s Law.
As a campaigner I am trying to bring awareness and make changes at a national level.
My status includes
- Significant media representation, raising awareness on a worldwide scale.
- A private meeting with PM David Cameron.
- Secured £3.1million to Barnardo’s, from KPMG, RMBC and DFE as well as securing funding for other charities.
- Training and consultation sessions with multi agencies around the UK including Bedfordshire, Metropolitan police, Tact Fostering, NSPCC.
- Participated in the government NHS CSE training film.
- Consultations with leaders and head of children’s services at RMBC and Rotherham Commissioners.
- Working alongside RMBC and other councils amending licensing policies and procedures.
My voice was heard and made a difference. Yours can too!
You are neverAlone
What is CSE?
- Mood swings – angry, emotional, withdrawn, suicide attempts, depression.
- Bruising, scaring on body.
- Receiving gifts.
- Staying out late or not returning home.
- Secretive and distant towards family and friends.
- Skipping education.
- Involved in criminal activity.
- Education grades dropping.
- Sexually transmitted infections.
- Pregnancy or miscarriage
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Eating disorders
- Not sleeping, nightmares, anxiety, panic attacks.
- Violence or aggression towards parents, siblings or animals.
Why won’t a victim come forward?
- Doesn’t recognise it as abuse.
- Believe abuser is their girlfriend / boyfriend / think it’s normal.
- Too dificult to talk about.
- Think the abuser will change.
- Embarrassed, ashamed, judged, to blame, will be rejected, isolated or called a liar.
- Emotionally attached to the abuser.
- Feel will put themselves and family at risk.
- Don’t know who to tell or trust.
- Be addicted to drugs or alcohol.
- Committed criminal offences.
As a parent / carer what do I do??
It’s important to keep a diary / notebook and keep all information and details noted signed and dated. Email or message yourself so you have a copy thats dated and timed. Make sure all information is shared with all relevant agencies.
What info to log?
- Times and dates.
- Names or nick names, ages, physical descriptions.
- Addresses and locations.
- Phone numbers.
- Social media content.
- Registration numbers, car vehicle make, model and colour.
- Witnesses names and descriptions.
- What activities was you doing that day? What was the weather like? And what was you wearing and who was you with?
All this will help. Remember this info could be used 20 years down the line and your memory might not be that clear.
If someone is to disclose be as accurate as you can when logging info you could be required as a witness.
Grooming happens online too be careful who and what your child is doing online, teach them and yourself about online safety.
Who do I tell?
Teacher or staff.
Parent, friend or relative.
Confidential helplines: Childline 0800 1111
“Samantha Woodhouse is a woman of outstanding resilience. Her story of exploitation in Rotherham itself is truly shocking. The hardship she has been forced to endure since breaking away from her abusers would have destroyed most of us mere mortals. She has not only survived but has found superhuman strength to negotiate her way through this whole confusing experience. She was instrumental in securing major convictions of a gang of paedophile exploiters in 2016. To top it all, as “Jessica”, she educated the nation through her press engagement during the breaking of the Rotherham scandal and continues to bring in depth understanding of CSE to us all.”
Child abuse lawyer and representative of many Rotherham CSE survivors.
“During late 2016, Jessica Jane and 2 of her fellow survivors of child sexual exploitation, presented their stories at 5 events across TACT. She spoke, for over an hour, recounting in powerful and vivid terms of the abuse that she, an “ordinary” girl from a loving family had experienced at the hands of various abusers. She made it clear to us all that she was a survivor, not a victim, as she recounted how she had got her life back together despite the threats of violence and repercussions.
Jessica Jane showed us how easy it is for evil men to pray on the vulnerabilities of teenage girls, the “grooming” that happens and made us appreciate that this type of abuse can happen to anyone and that the effects of it last a lifetime…………and beyond into future generations, as well as impacting on the wider family.
She was a very passionate and captivating speaker, very brave, with an important message and certainly we at TACT, the UK’s largest Fostering and Adoption Charity, benefitted enormously by hearing her testimony, and hopefully the 600+ children entrusted to our care will benefit also as a result of our staff and foster carers having listened to Jessica Jane”
Learning and developmant manager
“In order to avoid some of the failings that happened in Rotherham, Oxford and other parts of the UK and to prevent victims, families and communities suffering avoidable consequences it is essential that the Police learn from the mistakes. One of the best ways to learn is to hear first- hand from survivors of Child Sexual Exploitation and Sammy’s story is a powerful, hard hitting one delivered in an honest, forthright way that gives officers an opportunity to digest, reflect, understand and explore this complex area of policing.”
“We created a training film for the NHS to help staff identify victims of CSE. We felt that helping the viewer understand the realities of being a victim of CSE would provide compelling testimony to reinforce the messaging throughout the film. We were incredibly grateful to Sammy for agreeing to take part. Hers was a truly shocking experience which is sadly all too typical in CSE cases. At the time, she asked for her identity to be protected – a right she has subsequently waived. We spent a few hours interviewing Sammy who shared her experience with humbling honesty. She is able to articulate the full horror of her experience in a highly articulate way that engenders a desire for action rather than sympathy alone. It’s clear to us that she wants others to learn lessons from her experience in the hope that she can help protect other potential victims.”
Business Development Director Dependable Productions
“I have known Sammy Woodhouse aka ‘Jessica’ for over two years now. Sammy is the survivor whose story ultimately led to Professor Jay’s Inquiry into CSE in Rotherham which, in August 2014, reported that a conservative estimate of 1400 girls had been abused in Rotherham over a 16 year period. In 2016 I witnessed first-hand Sammy’s bravery, as she endured a harrowing trial in court, which concluded with her abuser being sentenced to 35 years in prison. This trial set the tone for a remarkable response in Rotherham which, between February 2016 and May 2017, has seen 26 criminals convicted of sex crimes against children who are now serving a total of 360 years behind bars. Sammy has worked with the local authority to attract new funding of £3.1m into Rotherham, which enabled the development of a new provision run by Barnardo’s to reduce the numbers of children who are vulnerable to CSE. I have also had the privilege of hearing Sammy speak about her ordeal, both as a child victim and now a survivor who has made a commitment to ensuring that awareness of the grooming process is heightened to reduce the risk of others being ensnared by the evil that is CSE. Sammy speaks with passion and anyone listening cannot help but reflect on their practice and make changes for the better..”
Children and Young People’s Service
“Bedfordshire Police are committed to identifying and investigating all areas of vulnerability and particularly CSE. However the first step in that journey is cultural change and for officers and staff to understand what CSE actually is. The experience and behaviours of some victims
is hard for staff to understand and identify the most suitable approaches to work with and safeguard them. Sammi’s input into our forcewide training days has been invaluable. Listening to her story, her honesty and courage has been unforgettable
for many and she has made a real different in our approach to protecting the most vulnerable in Bedfordshire.”
Chief Constable – Bedfordshire Police
“Sammy came to Walsall College to deliver educational talks to our students.
It was not only informative but hugely inspiring and touching.
A huge “Thank You” to Sammy for taking the time to educate our students.”
Deputy Safeguarding Lead