Church of England completed a review of 75,000+ cases
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The Church of England has completed a review of more than 75,000 past cases, some dating back decades.
This review was commissioned after an independent team concluded that the original past case review from 2007 was not thorough.
The review has found 383 new cases, which are now all being actively managed by local safeguarding leads. Of these 383 cases, 168 related to children and 149 to vulnerable adults.
The data on the alleged perpetrators shows that 242 cases related to clergy, 53 relating to church officers and 41 relating to volunteers whose role included engagement with children.
A number of recommendations have been developed, which it is hoped will improve safeguarding.
In the foreword of the report, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York said:-
“We sincerely apologise for our failures and want to reach out to those who are still suffering from the pain and misery they endured. We extend this apology to wider family members affected from this past abuse. We are so sorry that this ever happened. It was not your fault and you are not to blame. We should have been better at listening and responding to survivors’ and victims’ concerns.”
The Review comes after a report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which said that the Church of England had consistently failed to respond to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. At this time, we published an article about it and you can read it here: New report says Church of England “failed victims” – Enable Law
Helen Horne, a specialist abuse lawyer at Enable Law said, “Whilst the report does appear generally positive in demonstrating the steps being taken to improve safeguarding, some of the findings are extremely worrying, and I believe perhaps some of the most damning parts relate to the surrounding culture with the Church of England when dealing with allegations of abuse. For example, we see references to victim-blaming and complete inaction when dealing with allegations of abuse. I hope that the Church of England continues to work towards improving its safeguarding and follows the recommendations made within the review and more widely by other ongoing inquiries.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by abuse similar to that discussed in this article, you can contact us for specialist advice.