A 24 year old woman has won a £35,000 compensation payout after accusing her local council of not looking into claims that she was raped by her foster father when she was only six.
The woman, who has chosen not to waive her anonymity says that she could not go ahead with a criminal case against her former foster father because there was not enough evidence. She says that could have been different if Peterborough Council had not ignored her when she made her claims as a young girl.
She remained in the care of her attacker even though she had told her foster mother that he had abused her from when she was six until she was nine. It is understood that her school got in touch with both the NSPCC and the council. However, it was revealed in the legal action that the charity did not do anything because of staffing issues.
The woman said she was so frustrated that no one helped her. She said that her foster mother had found a picture she had drawn as a child, under which she had written: “I don’t like it when my daddy has sex with me.” She eventually brought legal action through London law firm Farley’s. She said that there was evidence at the time and that social services missed a number of opportunities to step in and protect her.
She described hiding under the table to try to escape her attacker, saying that her foster father slapped and sexually abused her. The NSPCC said it could not comment on individual cases. Meanwhile, Peterborough City Council’s Lou Williams, who is service director for children and safeguarding, said she was sorry about the woman’s case, and added that standards were continually improving. She said foster carers were now put through much more rigorous assessments.