‘Personal responsibility’ is DEAD, and Sammy Woodhouse doesn’t help that.

If you’re new to this journal, you’re probably not aware that I speak my mind here. I say what I think under the blanket of anonymity. One thing I would like to point out to begin with is that I do not condone vile actions such as paedophilia, forced prostitution and rape. These are sickening acts that deserve punishment. However, there is one story that’s recently caught the public eye regarding a woman in her rebellious teenage years and the lifestyle she was brought into. You can find the article here.

The case revolves around Sammy Woodhouse, a now 31-year-old mother who at 14 years old was infatuated with a local man named Arshid Hussain. Arshid was 10 years older than her, and the two met at a party and over time began a relationship where she was showered with attention and love. Obviously, this is wrong. A fourteen year old girl should not be engaging in a relationship with a twenty-four year old man, especially when the two are intimate. Sammy’s parents knew about this and voiced their disapproval (as they should), and even went as far as to put her in care to put a blockade between the two. Despite this, the relationship carried on with Sammy still engaging in a sexual relationship with Arshid. She even went missing for weeks at a time.

He waited outside her school to see her at lunch times and he gave her a mobile phone so they could keep in touch. Before long she started skipping school to meet him and they had sex within a month.

Arshid has since been found guilty of his crimes, with a sentence of 35 years for 23 offences including indecent assault and rape involving nine victims. He was part of the Rotherham paedophile ring that was made aware in 2014 by journalists. The police and law officials in the area were shamed and brought to light for their ignorance, and the criminals were given fair sentences for their crimes.

The thing I have a problem with in this story is that Sammy Woodhouse, although she was a victim of a vile crime, throws the blame in other directions. I would not expect her to show sympathy for Arshid Hussain or others in the slightest, however she was fourteen at the time this started. Some can say, ‘hey now! She’s just a kid! She didn’t know any better!’. But that doesn’t cut it. She was of sound mind when making the decision to sneak out of her parents house at night, or going on romantic dates with him. Continuously the parents tried to pry Sammy away from the thug, but she continued to attach herself to this wrong lifestyle.

This is where people use the term ‘grooming’. I fucking hate that word. Why? Because it’s so easy to attach to any case of an underage relationship. It’s so easy to say that a teenager was ‘brainwashed’ into a relationship when in reality it’s just as much responsibility as an adult would have. Nobody is put under a magical spell or lured away from their home with the promise of candy. Sure, you can say that she was blinded by this admiration and love she’s receiving from the guy, but that doesn’t mean her morality is gone. She knows the difference between right and wrong at that age and shouldn’t be waving off any sort of responsibility by accusing others of not doing what SHE should have done.

A debate propped up recently regarding a consensual underage relationship that Milo Yiannopoulos experienced. He himself was in a relationship at a young age with an older male that was illegal, but consensual. He wasn’t groomed or brainwashed. He knew what he was doing and consented to the sexual side of things. Is it illegal? Yes. But Milo mentioned that he doesn’t blame the older male at all. He went into that relationship knowing it was legally wrong and continued to do so. And yet he faced waves of backlash for saying that victims should hold some responsibility for these scenarios. It’s true, but the general norm in society is to throw a blanket of security over any ‘victim’ and say they were not to blame and all fault should go to the criminal. It’s absolutely absurd.

Now, for Miss Woodhouse, waiving her anonymity is the latest step on the campaigning road. She is writing to the Prime Minister and the Duchess of Cornwall to win support for her ‘Sammy’s Law’ campaign.

She said she had convictions for possession of an offensive weapon, common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm from her teenage years with Hussain, and believes she should be given a pardon for these offences.

This is what pisses me off the most. If you’re not interested enough to read the article I linked, Sammy’s Law is a right to wave any convictions a victim has been given. Her belief is that if she committed those crimes whilst with Arshid Hussain, they shouldn’t be accountable today as she was ‘brainwashed’ at the time. This is fucking ridiculous. The woman was convicted of assault, assault with actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon (i.e. a knive, a bladed weapon, etc.). Yes, this may have been due to trying to impress her boyfriend, or being influenced by his thuggish lifestyle, but this doesn’t excuse the fact that SHE committed those acts. SHE assaulted someone and has possession of a weapon. She knew the actions she was taking and continued with the crime. This is blatant passing of personal responsibility and she has no remorse for her own actions during the time.

Sammy’s Law can also fuck with the British legal system more than help it. If the law was put in place, this would be used excessively by any criminal put in front of a judge. It would make it easier for a criminal to put the blame on a co-defendant and thus dissolve any conviction they so rightly deserve. It’s ridiculous.

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I understand that Arshid Hussain is a criminal and deserves the sentence he received. Sammy wasn’t the only victim of his, and I’m sad they endured what they did. But this doesn’t excuse the fact that Sammy Woodhouse should take some responsibility for the actions she took during this time. She continued to disobey her parents and sneak out. She chose to stay in the relationship despite obvious warnings and pleas from her parents. She took part in crimes that she committed and carried illegal weapons that she was correctly convicted for. And it’s so easy for her to pass that blame on to other people, despite the fact she was fully aware of the relationship and crimes she was included in.

It’s apparent in the world right now that nobody can take the blame for their own faults. You see it in the media, in politics, in local domestic issues. Something as simple as a child’s progress at school. Did he get a low score? BLAME THE TEACHER! HOW DARE THEY! No, it’s because your son is a fucking idiot who spends the day ignoring education and knows he can easily say it’s his teacher’s fault. And society believes that! Because we as a society have adapted to the fact that if something happens, don’t blame yourself. Blame factors in your life that could have triggered this. In reality, you are to blame for your actions.

Before you comment saying that I’m condoning actions such as paedophilia and sexual assault, read it through and understand what I’m saying. These crimes are sickening, but it’s so easy for terms like ‘grooming’ and ‘brainwashing’ to be used in consensual underage relationships. People need to wake up and realise that you’re not a kid when you’re a teenager. You’re a young adult. You’ve grown to know the difference between right and wrong, and should take responsibility and mature action if you’re going into a criminal scenario. Sammy knew that Arshid was doing something illegal, and went against protective laws that are put in place to remind young adults that something like this is wrong. But yet, she continues to blame anyone for the consensual acts she committed.

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