TV Review: ‘Three Girls’

‘Three Girls’ is a TV series consisting of 3 episodes of 60 minutes each, the series is based on a true story of sexual exploitation of young teenage girls in the Manchester area, in the UK.

For me I found the short series compelling from start to finish, I was engaged in the story line, shocked and upset by what happened to the girls. I was so shocked that I watched all 3 episodes back to back online, to try and figure out in my mind what happened to these girls and the pain they must have gone through, my greatest sympathy goes out to them.

The first episode was a little slow to begin with and slightly confusing, the series follows the main character ‘Holly’ it appears that she has trouble at home with her family, particularly her dad. However it is unclear what the actual cause of the trouble is, she appears to struggle with starting a new school and it is suggested the family had just moved into the area. Holly finds herself involved in a group of girls who to begin with appear to have fun and a laugh together, however this is not the true reality of what is going on behind the scenes.

Holly finds herself visiting a kebab shop run by men of Pakistan origin, she is invited around the back and is given free food including kebabs, curry and alcohol. However she quickly finds out that she has become involved in a vicious cycle of alcohol, rape, money, fear and betrayal. She is used and abused by the men and lives a life of fear, scared to speak out of her abuse. When she does the police do little to help her and she finds her case being dropped, causing her to find herself back in the same cycle as before.

What I found very interesting is the relationship that forms between Holly and Amber, who is one of the girls the men were also engaged with. Amber takes on an unusual role as both a friend of Holly’s and her worst enemy. Amber appears to help Holly come to terms with what happened after her first time with one of the men and offers her advice on what to expect. Yet she appears to ‘throw her under the bus’ on occasions. Amber gets out of the vehicle to leave Holly with a man that she knows will rape her, one must question the type of friend who would do this. She also appears to force Holly into going with the men, saying “you have to” and “yes, you are” when Holly objects. Amber appears to play an important role for the men as she arranges and gathers up girls to take part in the activity. She appears to form what she believes is a relationship with one of the men, but it quickly turns abusive and he uses her for money. I believe that Amber is a good girl who is so vulnerable and has been abused by the men for so long, that she ends up looking like a bad one. This is seen when in the court she is not called as a witness but it instead is suggested that Amber was as bad as the men. To me this was one of the most shocking parts of the series as we see a young naive and vulnerable girl who is the victim of abuse and rape turned into the criminal.

One of the biggest problems that face girls like these is the stereotypes that evolve. Even Holly said it herself when she said ‘Shall I do a prosy dance for you?’ Holly herself believed that she had become a prostitute as she was receiving alcohol, cigarettes and little money. This was later confirmed when she became pregnant and the support officers suggest that she lives a ‘prostitute lifestyle’. This really highlights how young victims of abuse and rape are so easily negatively viewed by society and how quickly people are to make judgements without knowing the full extent of the problem.

Overall I found ‘Three Girls’ to be an emotional and heart throbbing series that has really opened my eyes and made me view the way the legal system works and treats victims of rape differently. I would highly recommend watching the series as it gives you an insight into the lives of youngsters who have become involved in an unimaginable scale of sexual abuse and assault. However I must point out that the series is very emotional to the point that I cried on three separate occasions while watching it, therefore if you become easily upset by things  such as abuse I would not advice watching in it. They also by no means hold back on swearing in the series, with the F word being used in almost every sentence!

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