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24th May 2022

Autistic schoolgirl ‘tried to kill herself after male police strip searched her while she was menstruating’

Danny Jones

Autistic girl strip-searched while on her period

The woman’s mother recently shared details of the horrific incident

An autistic girl reportedly tried to commit suicide after police strip-searched her while she was menstruating.

Speaking to BBC’s File on 4 radio show and podcast, the mother of the 14-year-old mixed-race girl – whose identity is being kept private – claims her daughter was handcuffed and had her underwear cut off in front of six male officers as they forcibly performed the intimate search.

Lisa (fake name) went on to reveal that her child – known only under the fake name Olivia – had autism, learning difficulties and had previously struggled with mental health issues and self harming. She also confirmed that Olivia tried to take her own life following the horrific incident.

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they are now looking into a complaint made by the girl’s mother; the deputy assistant commissioner assuring the show that investigators will “determine the appropriateness of the search and the way that it was conducted”.

This bears as a disturbing similarity to the case of Child Q, where a 15-year-old Black girl was strip-searched after she was wrongly accused of carrying cannabis also in 2020 leading to reports of more than 13,00 strip-searches of under 18s in the past five years – some of which we carried out on children as young as 10.

Olivia was arrested along with a number of friends in December 2020 after having a disagreement with two boys, who called the police and claimed they were victims of an attempted robbery while being held at knife-point.

She was then searched at the scene and despite nothing being found, was held in custody for more than 20 hours. She was ultimately found to have been in possession of a sharpened stick and a small blade, which her mother went on to clarify was for the purpose of self-harming.

She was later found not guilty after it was concluded that the blade was used for self-harm; Lisa says Olivia has been left “absolutely distraught” by the entire ordeal.

Vital resources

If you are struggling with any mental health issues, you can get in touch with The Samaritans on 116 123, by visiting the wbesite or by email for 24/7 condidental help.

You can find more valuable mental health resouces on the NHS website; if you or someone else you know is in immediate danger, please call 999 now.

You can also file an official complaint regarding police treatment via the UK’s Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) here.

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