Being a young immigrant is undoubtedly a disorienting experience — something that a group of Somali men seized on with a group of young girls in Bristol. The Somali sex ring involved at least four young women, aged as young as 13, who passed through the Bristol collective. Many of them were repeatedly raped by several men of the Somali community, sometimes at the same time.
As the group of Somali men groomed the young girls into a life of sex slaves, they kept them hooked with small trinkets in order to keep them happy in the Bristol sex ring. Girls became used to drugs, alcohol, small amounts of money and other gifts when they performed sexual acts for other Somali men. The leaders of the sex ring convinced the girls that they were upholding Somali tradition by participating in the prostitution, telling them that “men always have sex with each other’s girlfriends” in Somalia, reported BBC News.
One such case reported involved a 13-year-old girl who was trafficked to a remote hotel before being raped four times by three separate men throughout the night. In total, four girls were raped while a fifth girl was forced to watch. In other related documents uncovered by the investigation, it appears that other sex rings were being carried out by the same group, according to The Daily Mail.
Somali sex rings have also been unearthed in the United States. As it hosts more Somali immigrants than anywhere else in North America, Minneapolis and the rest of Minnesota has been a hub for the activity of this particular type of gang, according to a short list of gangs being most closely watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation published by Business Insider.
“Somali gangs have been involved in alien smuggling, human trafficking, credit card fraud, prostitution, and violent crime. Minneapolis continues to have problem with Somali gangs. Over the summer, a number of shootings aimed at Somalis sparked fears of a gang war in the Somali community in Minnesota.”
These gangs and sex rings don’t seem to be showing any size of slowing. Despite an improving economy, emigration from Somalia is common — the country has been fighting an extremely violent battle against Al Shabaab, a Islamic extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda, for more than 10 years. The fight still continues to this day, as you can see below in a short documentary below about the conflict from VICE News.
[Image via Avon and Somerset Constabulary]