Lie Detector Test UK Sponsors The Maggie Oliver Foundation

Each year Lie Detector Test UK reviews its donations to and sponsorship of charities.  This year we are happy to announce our sponsorship of The Maggie Oliver Foundation.

The charities we donate to and sponsor are carefully chosen to ensure they align with our values.

The Maggie Oliver Foundation

Set up in 2019 by Maggie Oliver, former Greater Manchester Police detective, the Foundation focuses on survivors of childhood sexual abuse, helping them to transform their “Pain into Power”.

Maggie resigned her position with Greater Manchester Police in 2012, determined to expose the Rochdale Grooming Gang scandal. She was disgusted by police mishandling of child sex abuse cases and turned whistle-blower so that the public could be better informed.  It took 3 years for Greater Manchester Police to apologise in 2015 for its failure to investigate child sexual exploitation allegations adequately, brought to their attention between 2008 and 2010.

The multi award winning, 3-part dramatisation ´Three Girls´ was broadcast on BBC One in May 2017. The series describes how the authorities failed to investigate allegations of rape because the victims were perceived as unreliable witnesses. Maggie Oliver was a key contributor and Programme Consultant.

You can read more about Maggie and the incredible work she and her team does, fighting for justice for victims and survivors of child grooming, by visiting The Maggie Oliver Foundation website. And you can gain an insight into why Maggie set out on this mission from the video below:

Building confidence

As forensic psychologists and polygraph examiners our work brings us into contact with many people who have suffered from historical and current sexual abuse. We are acutely aware of how many victims feel they will not be believed if they report what has happened to them. Often their families don´t believe them so they worry that the police won´t either.

When this type of abuse has happened or is happening it´s essential to have some support. A lie detector test has been the way forward for many victims and survivors, to at least get family and close friends on side.

However, aligned to the problem of not being believed there is another insidious problem, and that has been the lack of action taken over decades by authorities and police.

Grooming gangs and rape

There have been several inquiries from which reports have been written over recent years.

A lack of action on the part of those responsible for protecting children has been attributed to social workers, councillors, and police.  As to the demographic of who is committing grooming gang crimes and rape of children, one only has to study the court lists around the country to establish who is being prosecuted and convicted.  We don´t have to spend more millions on reports that effectively lead us nowhere.

The fact is that these crimes continue to be committed. Rather than concentrating on political correctness and the image the authorities involved wish to maintain, something needs to be done to put an end to the matter.

The Law

The Sexual Offences Act 2014 defines child sexual abuse according to age.

Under 13s

A child aged 12 years or younger is deemed to be incapable of legally consenting to any form of sexual activity. All penetrative sex (including penetration of the mouth) of a children in this age group is classified as rape and carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Other offences include assault by penetration (with an object or part of the body), sexual assault (any kind of sexual touching), and causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity (this could include making a child strip or promising them rewards for sexual behaviour).

Assault by penetration has a maximum penalty of life in prison; sexual assault and causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity both have maximum penalties of 14 years in prison.

13-15 Year Olds

The following are some examples of the offences where the offender is aged 18 or over (but where the sexual activity takes place between someone below the age of 18 and someone under 16, the offences are similar but carry lower sentences).

Sexual activity with a child

This law covers all intercourse, other penetration or sexual touching of a child and carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity

This encompasses causing or persuading a child to engage in any sexual activity, including sexual acts with someone else, or making a child strip or masturbate.  Again, the maximum sentence is 14 years in prison.

Engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child

Under this law, it is an offence to intentionally engage in sexual activity when you know that you can be seen by a child, or you believe or intend that they can see you, and where you do this in order to get sexual gratification from the fact that they may be watching you.

Causing a child to watch a sexual act

This makes it an offence to intentionally cause a child to watch someone else taking part in sexual activity for the purpose of your own sexual gratification.

Meeting a child following sexual grooming

Under this new law, if you are over 18 and have communicated with a child under 16 at least twice (including communication by phone or internet) it is an offence to meet them, or travel to meet them, anywhere in the world with the intention of committing one of the offences above.

Arranging or facilitating a child sex offence

This makes it an offence to knowingly arrange or carry out an action in any part of the world which will lead to one of the offences above being committed.

 16 and 17 Year Olds

Since most sexual abuse of children takes place in the home, the law now makes it an offence for any child under 18 to engage in sexual activity with a ‘family member’.

Family member now includes foster family, step family and, in some instances, lodgers.

Also, it is an offence for a person working in a position of trust (e.g., a teacher, Connexions Advisor, nurse, or carer) to engage in sexual activity with any child under 18.  In other cases that age limit would be 16.

Lack of action and consequences

Authorities have allowed many of the above offences to go unchallenged for years. Various excuses exist for this including fears of being called racist, elements of class and victim blaming. Committing resources to resolving the issue appears to have been a problem too as evidenced by the Home Office Group-based Child Sexual Exploitation report of December 2020.

Vladimir Putin once said, “a society that cannot protect its children has no future”. While our children continue to be groomed, sexually abused and raped, the future does indeed look bleak. Let´s stop talking about the ‘who’ and ‘why’. Stop worrying about the names we may or may not be called. We must ensure that our children are protected and that they have a happy, healthy future. For this reason, and many others, we choose to sponsor and support The Maggie Oliver Foundation´s work.