File on 4Author: BBC Radio 4
20 Jan 2021

File on 4

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Award-winning current affairs documentary series investigating major issues at home and abroad

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    Women Who Abuse

    Women are seen as the caring, nurturing sex, safe to be left in charge of children. But stigma and stereotyping around female perpetrated abuse means it can be seen as a lesser crime, with many victims deeply reluctant to report their ordeal to the authorities. Experts tell File on 4 that current case numbers are the ‘tip of the iceberg’, while the early indicators of abuse, like online grooming and social media befriending, can be brushed aside when the abuser is a woman. File on 4 hears from adult survivors who describe decades of trauma and shame caused by their female abusers, as well as the difficulties they faced in reporting the crime. Psychologists and campaigners say the criminal justice system urgently needs to better support victims to give evidence. They describe how abusers are still able to take advantage of laws that leave children in informal settings, such as sports clubs and choirs, open to abuse, settings where female abusers can thrive. And although societal perceptions of female child sexual abuse are changing, many deeply traumatised victims risk being left behind. Reporter: Melanie Abbott Producer: Helen Clifton Editor: Gail Champion

  • Posted on 19 Jan 2021

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    Undue Influence

    In the age of social media and the selfie, the perfect look is everything. That's what influencers tell their followers. Some are also happy to provide a 'how-to guide' to obtaining the perfect body. What they don't mention though, is that they are cashing in, being paid by clinics to promote procedures, some of which are risky and dangerous. It’s a story that begins on social media. Young women posting online about their experiences of plastic surgery. The online videos, posted to their followers, show their surgeon smile and wave for the camera. But a big part of their stories is missing. They’re not normal patients. Because these influencers have access to a market of thousands of other young women, they get their surgery for free in exchange for the promotions. Offline the situation is less than picture perfect. File on 4 hears from the women whose lives were changed by the pursuit of the perfect body. Producer: Kate West Reporter: Joice Etutu Editor: Gail Champion

  • Posted on 12 Jan 2021

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    Transforming Care?

    Back in 2018, File on 4 revealed the story of Bethany – an autistic teenager who had been locked in a hospital room alone for two years, her only contact with the outside world through a hatch. What happened to her and others with learning disabilities who have been promised care in therapeutic community settings? Following what NHS England called the ‘appalling scandal’ at Winterbourne View, the Government promised to close up to half of all inpatient beds for people with a learning disability or autism by March 2019, under a programme called Transforming Care. Yet this target has been missed. And almost one in 5 patients with learning disabilities still in hospital has now been there for over ten years. A series of damning reports – most recently from the CQC – have called for urgent reform. So what has gone wrong with Transforming Care? Reporter: Melanie Abbott Producers: Helen Clifton & Paul Grant Editor: Gail Champion

  • Posted on 10 Nov 2020

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    Reynhard Sinaga: Britain’s most prolific rapist

    In January, Reynhard Sinaga was convicted of 159 sexual offences against 48 different men over the course of four trials. But according to police, there’s evidence he abused more than 200 men whilst living as a student in Manchester. He preyed on vulnerable young men, drugged them until they were unconscious and raped them while recording most of his abuse on his phone. Most of his victims woke up with no memory of what had been done to them - oblivious until the police turned up at their doors to explain the horrific truth. As police renew their efforts to identify more of Sinaga's victims, File on 4 has been given exclusive access to those at the centre of the police investigation and hears from many of those who knew him and who have never spoken before. The programme hears how how the softly spoken and highly intelligent student played Good Samaritan to lure victims to his flat in central Manchester - then plied them with drinks laced with the date rape drug GHB. How one man fought off Sinaga and called police, triggering the biggest rape inquiry in British history. The programme also hears about the moment the police realised they were dealing with a monster when they accessed his phone and discovered a catalogue of videos he'd made of himself abusing his unconscious victims. Police then painstakingly trawled through hours and hours of video and numerous trophies found in Sinaga's flat to help identify his victims. Having never shown any remorse for his crimes, the Court of Appeal is now reviewing Sinaga's sentence. So will he become the UK’s first non-homicide criminal to die behind bars? If you have information about this case you believe may be of interest to police you can contact them here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/06GMP19V24-PO2 If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this programme you can access support via the following organisations: St Mary’s Rape Crisis Centre in Manchester provides a range of support and services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to people of all ages who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped, whether this happened in the past or more recently. https://www.stmaryscentre.org Safeline provides support and counselling for survivors of sexual abuse or rape. Phone: 0808 8005005 (Male support) www.safeline.org.uk Survivors UK run the National Male Survivors Online Helpline and Webchat Service for men who have experienced sexual abuse either as a child or an adult. www.survivorsuk.org The Survivors Trust provides support and signposting for women, men and children who are survivors of rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse. Phone: 0808 801 0818 www.thesurvivorstrust.org Samaritans is available for anyone struggling to cope and provide a safe place to talk 24 hours a day. Phone: 116 123 Email: jo@samaritans.org www.samaritans.org BBC Action Line: Sexual abuse and violence: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/22VVM5LPrf3pjYdKqctmMXn/information-and-support-sexual-abuse-and-violence

  • Posted on 03 Nov 2020

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    Locked Up in Lockdown

    Are court backlogs creating miscarriages of justice? When the UK locked down, so did its court system, adding to a backlog that’s left defendants, witnesses and victims facing long waits for trials. Helen Grady speaks to people inside the justice system to find out how it’s coped with the pandemic - from delays in making courts covid-secure to a lack of PPE and overcrowding in prisons. We hear stories from prisons under lockdown and talk to lawyers who fear delays are leading to abuses of the criminal justice system. Producer: Rob Cave

  • Posted on 27 Oct 2020

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