Birmingham U.K. social services have successfully sought a civil injunction (balance of probabilities), to protect vulnerable teenagers in their care from sexual exploitation, where the evidence is unlikely to secure convictions on the criminal standard (beyond a reasonable doubt).
The injunction granted last week restrains the men named as respondents from contacting a particular 17 year old girl in the City’s care, and from associating with any female under 18 with whom they are not personally associated.
If the men breach the injunctions, the City intends to seek jail terms for contempt of court.
The proceedings do not depend on evidence from the victims, which can be difficult to obtain, particularly where the conduct of the perpetrators is “grooming” or persuading the girls, who may not realize what is happening to them.
This course of proceeding has been described as “strikingly novel”.