OVER-ARCHING INQUIRY – 7th JULY 2014
The STOP CHURCH CHILD ABUSE alliance of survivor support groups welcomes the announcement by Theresa May of an over-arching inquiry into institutional child abuse. Churches and other important institutions will be examined as part of the inquiry.The SCCA campaign have worked constantly since 2010 to call on the government to announce an inquiry. The campaign have lobbied MPs, educated decision makers, and carried through a tireless press campaign.The SCCA campaign will now press the inquiry to be consulted on all aspects of its work relating to churches, for the inquiry to take extensive evidence from church abuse survivors, for the inquiry to obtain documents from churches, and ultimately for an independent complaints system, for tailor-made support and therapy, a redress system similar to the Irish model and for mandatory reporting of abuse by professionals.
From our research between 542 and 1,776 clergy with allegations against them have gone un-prosecuted. Church safeguarding procedures allow Bishops to keep allegations away from the police and social services.
There have been recently discovered cover-ups in which Bishops protected clergy.
The churches have allowed convicted sex offenders to be ordained. Most church schools do not make a commitment to report all allegations of abuse to the authorities.
The STOP CHURCH CHILD ABUSE campaign is an alliance of clergy sexual abuse survivors, charities that support survivors, specialist lawyers and interested individuals working in the field of child safeguarding. We have come together to investigate and highlight the serious safeguarding failures of church institutions, from 1954 to the present.
We call on the Government to set up an Independent Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy, religious and other church officials within all Dioceses and institutions of the Catholic Church in England & Wales and the Church of England and in Wales (including the Methodist church).
Such an inquiry should have powers to compel the disclosure of all files of clergy, religious and other church officials containing reports and allegations of child sexual abuse. It should receive evidence, both oral and written from victims of child sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and religious within parish communities and church institutions and also be able to compel those in positions of authority within Dioceses and religious orders to attend and give evidence.
The Inquiry should have the power to make recommendations concerning legislation to improve safeguarding in church institutions.
For 20 years the leaders of the Catholic Church and the Church of England/Wales have repeatedly stated that they will respond appropriately to reports of child sexual abuse. Despite these assurances, many prosecutions have revealed that Church authorities have covered up past reports of child abuse and allowed clergy to remain in post despite allegations and in some cases past convictions for child sexual offences. In many reported cases further child abuse has taken place.
We need to raise this issue with Ministers direct. An important way to do this is by letting ministers know via our MPs that there are many members of the public who support the call for an inquiry.
Please open the letter to MPs below and send it by e-mail or post to your local MP. You can find your MPs name and address by going to www.writetothem.com and putting in your postcode. Simply copy the whole of the letter into the message box and e-mail it to your MP.
You can also book an appointment with your MP in his/her Friday constituency surgery. Please take along our summary document and explain that you want a letter writing to the appropriate minister.
Please let us know whether you have taken this action by e-mailing to firstname.lastname@example.org
Download Letter Template (word doc.)
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Download Campaign Summary (word doc.)
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Download Evidence Document (word doc.)
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CAMPAIGN UPDATE 2012/13
Click here – Updating Report for SCCA Campaign 19.02.13
For more information contact:
David Greenwood, Chairman
STOP CHURCH CHILD ABUSE.
email@example.com - tel : 01924 882000
Anne Lawrence, MACSAS
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe
Richard Sorer, Pannone LLP Solicitors
Graham Wilmer, The Lantern Project
Peter Saunders, NAPAC
David Greenwood, Switalskis LLP solicitors
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