Sammy’s Law must be implemented to ensure children are not charged for committing crimes whilst being groomed or coerced. Government must consider putting something in place for children that have already gained a criminal record due to being abused as this is preventing them from moving forward.
“It has long been my view that those vulnerable to being exploited by the will of others should not be criminalised when their offending is under the direction and control of an exploiting hand. Our focus should be on protecting vulnerable victims and chasing down their abusers. Abusers will simply move onto other victims until they are stopped. We must go after the abusers.
We should be encouraging victims that are preyed upon and abused to speak out against their tormentors, by doing so we can focus upon those that exploit rather than those that are exploited.
It cannot be right that victims are fearful of coming forward to the police or other organisations because to do so they are potentially placing themselves in jeopardy of prosecution. We must provide reassurances to those victims that are placed into a world of crime by their torturers and provide victims with an exit from their abuse. This pathway out of abuse should avoid victims being criminalised where they support a prosecution against their abusers, by so doing it is far more likely that we will put their tormentors where they belong, behind bars.
Those victims that have been exploited by such predators and deviants, that find the strength to come forward, should not be criminalised for any acts done whilst under the control of those that prey upon them. Abusers will deliberately manipulate their victims into crime so that they can then further control them through both a fear of the criminal justice system as well as the more traditional methods of violence and intimidation to subdue resistance to their will.
We should target the abusers, the causes of such misery, not their victims.
Sammy Woodhouse, and those like her who find the courage to step forward, should not fear prosecution for crimes committed under the influence and control of their abusers. I encourage my officers to look for the signs of all types of abuse and to protect those that are abused and to target the abusers.
That is why I support Sammy’s campaign to stop victims of abuse being criminalised.”