Child Q Is What Happens When Black Girls Are Robbed Of Their Youth_eye freckle removal surgery uk

Banseka Kayembe·7 min read

Warning: The following contains graphic details which some readers may find upsetting.

This week, a report published by Hackney Council revealed that in 2020 a 15-year-old Black girl at a Hackney secondary school was strip-searched while on her period, over unfounded suspicions she was in possession of cannabis. The young girl was made to bend over naked, spread her legs and use her hands to spread her buttocks while coughing — this was done on the basis she “smelt of cannabis.” Two female police officers were present during the search, with teachers standing outside the room. The girl’s mother was not notified by the school in advance, and was informed of the incident by her daughter. Three Metropolitan police officers are under investigation as a result, and the report has stated categorically that the search was “insufficiently attuned to her best interests or right to privacy” and that racism “was likely to have been an influencing factor” in choosing to involve the police.

The details of this case are disturbing and horrific. Whilst global conversations were sparked that same year following the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer in the U.S., it’s clear that the violence of the state, particularly the criminal justice system continues to plague Black communities, including young Black girls here in the UK.

The now outgoing Commissioner of the Met Police Cressida Dick stated the Met is not institutionally racist, despite a slew of racist incidents involving police officers. This was exacerbated further by The Sewell Report commissioned by the government and published a year ago, which claimed that institutional racism in Britain did not exist.

The state violence against Black women, especially Black girls can often be forgotten in conversations around institutional racism and police brutality. Blackness is hypermasculinsed, impacting not only Black boys but Black girls as well, who are also perceived as a threat. Black girls are unfairly robbed of their innocence and treated harshly, in what is referred to as “adultification”. The choice by the school, in the case of Child Q, to involve the criminal justice system so quickly reflects how willing many are to view Black girls as inherently criminal, resorting to police intervention rather than safeguarding solutions. The lack of aftercare, following what some, including equality campaigner Patrick Vernon, have deemed “state rape”, suggests a toughness and resilience expected of Black girls which is completely illogical.


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