Sara Rowbotham, a sexual health worker who was instrumental in gathering evidence used in the Rochdule abuse case, has made an appearance on First Dates. Sara, who was recently portrayed by Maxine Peake in the critically acclaimed BBC show Three Girls, opened up her experience trying to bring the perpetrators to justice while on a first date with Sara on the popular dating show.
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She said: "Children told me they were being sexually abused every day and just trying to get some other people to do anything about it was really, really difficult. No matter how many times I banged on the door. And that went on for almost ten years before anybody did anything… I just became a big fire ball. You know, I was really angry. I was really angry all the time because it was incredibly frustrating not being able to have your voice heard."
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Sara opened up about the case
Viewers were quick to praise Sara, with one tweeting: "Sara Rowbotham? From Rotherham the one played by #MaxinePeake in #ThreeGirls? She's a legend. Give her the best date ever. #FirstDates," while another added: "Sara Rowbotham I just want you to find the love of your life and be happy forever and also be knighted like you really deserve #firstdates." An online petition to see Sara recognised for her services has now reached nearly 300,000 signatures. It reads: "The evidence she collected, along with statements from the brave survivors of the abuse, was dismissed time & time again by GMP & CPC. Years later some of the men were jailed because of this evidence, without a doubt without Sara & her team this prosecution would never have happened."