Vicky counts herself as one of the lucky ones. Stalked from the age of 15, plied with drink and slipped drugs until she became estranged from her despairing parents; ferried at night by strangers twice her age to unknown male-only parties; on one occasion locked in a house, her only escape through a window.
She was bullied and pestered constantly for sex, but unlike some of her friends she was never raped. In modern day Rotherham, that is seen as good fortune.
Vicky, now 27 and training to be a paramedic, is one of the countless youngsters groomed by the predatory gangs of Pakistani men allowed to roam the South Yorkshire town with near impunity for so long.
She recalls being picked up at night in taxis in the town centre at the bottom of Ship Hill, where drunken crowds gather around takeaways and under-age white girls are seen as easy pickings.
"We would come for a night out and they would be sat around waiting in their cars," says Vicky. "My friends had met them before me and said they had got beer and stuff like that. We would be taken to these big houses in Rotherham and Sheffield and they were always trying to give us drink and drugs.
"I was spiked a few times, they gave me ecstasy and cocaine. I knew what they wanted from me. I still remember being called a dirty gori [Pakistani slang for a white woman] which is what they always used to say to us.
"Once I was spiked with something and ended up in a right state. I was 15 and had tried to walk home but couldn't get in the door. My dad threw cold coffee over me to try and wake me up.
"After that I ran away for two weeks. One of my friends went with a man to the pub and ended up being taken away for a few days and raped. She reported it to the police but nothing ever got done about it."
There are two stark sides to post-industrial Rotherham. Mary Portas chose the town for her government-backed high street regeneration plans and the resulting pop-up vintage shops and smart cafes attract leisurely customers. At the top of Ship Hill, less than 100 yards from where the girls were picked up by their abusers, is the gleaming white town hall. The main police station is a short walk away.
But these civic pillars were never there to support the young victims, who were regarded by their attackers, and seemingly those supposed to protect them, as worthless. While some 1400 children - a conservative estimate - were picked up, groomed, raped and abused between 1997 and 2013, the authorities simply looked the other way.
The pick-up places were - and are - public and prominent: the Clifton Park bandstand which was reopened by the Queen in 1991; Herringthorpe Playing Fields opposite a house used for neighbourhood watch meetings; streets outside the school gates.
According to pupils at one junior school, teachers were placed as sentries outside to deter waiting cars. Taxis and even limousines were also a regular sight, prompting three senior schools to report it to the authorities.
Once the victims stepped into the back of the cars they became invisible, trafficked to a murky underworld of drugs, guns, gangs and violent intimidation - sometimes taken to other cities, sometimes just streets away. But even then they were beyond the reach of their parents.
With a police force seemingly paralysed by fears of appearing racist, when some fathers managed to track down their children to the grimy terraced party houses where they had been driven, they were arrested themselves and taken away.
Mostly, though, nobody followed. The independent report published this week which revealed so damningly the way a town has failed its young, cites a South Yorkshire Police map of the north of England in the early 2000s circled with "drugs", "guns" and "murder" as the force priorities. On desolate roads in the largely Asian area of Eastwood, where chipboard is nailed over the windows of crumbling terraced houses and children play on discarded mattresses and armchairs, residents describe having witnessed under-age girls arriving in the back of cars and being taken into houses used as drug squats, but say the police's only interest was trying to shut down the dealers.
Those involved with the grooming gangs have grown up fast. Youngsters in Rotherham talk about the most appalling of crimes with a weariness beyond their years. In sprawling Clifton Park, a grand Victorian green space, one 16-year-old boy points out the spots where the men continue to come cruising for girls after dark. The police, he says, still don't do anything to stop it.
His sister was the victim of Mohsin Khan, 26, one of the few men ever convicted over the grooming scandal when he was jailed - as part of a gang of five Pakistanis - for four years in 2010 for grooming a 13-year-old girl for sex. He gave her cannabis and drove her around in his BMW, spoiling her, in the victim's words, "like a princess" before he raped her in his car.
This week, Khan has been photographed back walking the streets of Rotherham. "My mum cried when she saw him in the newspaper," he says. "My sister is 19 now and she is fine, with a baby on the way, but I don't think she's fully recovered mentally. She doesn't come into the park, ever, and she wants to move away from the area."
Another Rotherham victim, invisible to the authorities before it became too late, was Laura Wilson. The 17-year-old, who is thought to have been groomed when a young teenager by Pakistani men, ended up being stabbed in the head, pushed into a canal and left to die by her boyfriend, Ashtiaq Ashgar, 18, when she became pregnant after an affair with one of his friends.
Bridie Fell, now 19, was in her close group of five best friends, who grew up in the Holmes area of Rotherham.
Even now, after being taken into care because of fears she was being exploited, she doesn't see anything particularly wrong about the older men who befriended them when they were 15. "They would chill with us, a few of their friends, a few of our friends, and we would all have a drink together. The police had their suspicions and they took all four of us away and left Laura on her own. They moved me to a secure unit in Nottingham and my sister to Rochdale where it [the grooming] was happening just as bad - luckily she managed to stay away from it.
"I was in the middle of nowhere and you had to drive two miles to get to the nearest paper shop. By the time I got back from care Laura was dead. If they had moved her as well it would have been different. She was left on her own. If anybody intimidated us it was the council and police."
Blame swills along Rotherham's streets. Many in the 8000-strong Pakistani and larger Muslim community are as appalled as anyone at the stories of abuse that have emerged this week and express dismay at the lack of a concerted voice coming forward from the leaders of the town's eight mosques, or indeed, any Asian councillors, to condemn the attacks.
"We need to show the local people here we are not comfortable with any of this," says Saleh Saleh, a 29-year-old Yemeni taxi driver who has lived in Rotherham since 1996. "I don't know why they are not saying anything."
While these appalling crimes span two decades, what is also clear is that the abuse is still going on. Tracy Haycox, the director of children and young people's services at Safe at Last, an independent charity, says it has recorded 110 missing child referrals for Rotherham in the past three months, with eight mentions of child sex exploitation. "Until we start asking questions in other towns and cities I don't think we will ever know what the true extent is," she says. "It would be naive of us to think these are just Rotherham's problems."
For now, however, Rotherham is in the spotlight. In 2013, the police received 157 reports concerning child grooming and abuse, but still there are only three dedicated officers to deal with it.
More than that are on hand containing the daily protest by the English Defence League outside the town's police station. At the same time, ever more invisible victims wander the town. Back in Clifton Park, a lone young teenage girl with a can of beer in her hand slips past Rotherham's proud bandstand and disappears through the trees, out of sight.
The Telegraph, London