Rape is now the “weapon of choice” among gang members who were targeting sisters and girlfriends of their rivals BBC Radio 4’s Today programme reported yesterday.

The use of rape in conflict has long been recognised although it’s less frequently reported on.
But the homegrown angle was a new twist: the story was flagged up in an interview with journalist Angus Stickler who had gone to London and Glasgow to talk to women and girls about their experiences of violence.

The BBC report was based on research by social policy think-tank Race on the Agenda and raised two issues: that women are increasingly caught up in the violence, which has been a little less sympathetically reported elsewhere and also that they are also vulnerable to attack:
The report says little is known about the numbers of women and girls affected by gang violence – and highlights how the few services that do exist are chronically under-resourced and over-stretched.
Report author Carlene Firmin is quoted describing how one girl who had been arrested for selling drugs for a gang was, upon her bail, kidnapped and “raped by a number of the gang members as a punishment and to silence her”.
Crediting Chris Greenwood from the Press Association, the Independent went for a different angle that middle class girls being caught up in the violence.
This angle was picked up by the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail

Photo credit: Martin Deutsch via a Creative Commons Licence