10.11 She described a particular case that was ‘the final straw’. 18 In 2001, a young girl who had been repeatedly raped had tried to escape her perpetrators but was terrified of reprisals. They had allegedly put all the windows in at the parental home and broken both of her brother’s legs ‘to send a message’. At that point, the child agreed to make a complaint to the Police. The researcher took her to the police station office where she would be interviewed in advance in order to familiarise her with the place and the officer who would be conducting the interview. Whilst there, the girl received a text from the main perpetrator. He had with him her 11-year old sister. He said repeatedly to her ‘your choice…’. The girl did not proceed with the complaint. She disengaged from the pilot and project and is quoted by the researcher as saying ‘you can’t protect me’. This incident raised questions about how the perpetrator knew where the young woman was and what she was doing.
10.12 Following this incident, the researcher described how she discussed what to do next with her manager and others in the project and pilot’s Steering Committee. It was agreed that she should put her concerns in writing to the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police and the Rotherham District Commander of Police. This letter was approved by her manager and the steering group before being hand-delivered to Rotherham Police Station. The Inquiry had access to this letter. According to the researcher, this resulted in a meeting with the District Commander and seniorCouncil officials at which she was instructed never to do such a thing again. The content of her letter was not discussed.