Three Girls tells the story of three of the children who were victims in the 2012 grooming and sex trafficking case in Rochdale, how they were ignored by the authorities and how they eventually made themselves heard.
Holly (Molly Windsor) is new to Rochdale and keen to make friends and fit in. She finds herself drawn into a world she cannot escape, despite her pleas for help.
It’s a world that is all too familiar to sexual health worker Sara (Maxine Peake), who has been recording and reporting cases of child abuse for years.
The writer, Nicole Taylor, says: “Listening to them was the beginning of understanding – not just of the terrible suffering they experienced, but of the courage it took to persist and persist over years, in telling authorities who didn’t want to know, and ultimately participate in the court proceedings that brought justice.”
Three Girls was made with the full cooperation of the victims and their families.
“It’s both a privilege and a responsibility to be allowed to tell this powerful, true story,” adds director Philippa Lowthorpe. “I have huge respect for the girls and their families for sharing their experiences with us. It’s through their courage in speaking out that we can try to understand the devastating effects of grooming.”
Three Girls, BBC1, Tuesday, 9pm