IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

The recent Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse’s (IICSA) report has revealed that the Church of England, not only failed to protect children from sexual abuse, but that it’s failure to respond consistently to abuse victims added to their trauma.

The report stated that the accused perpetrators were often provided more support than the victims. It added that 390 clergy members and other church leaders were convicted of abuse between the 1940s and 2018. Furthermore, the report provided examples of of clergymen being ordained despite a history of child sex offences.

It has been reported that in 2018 there were 2,504 safeguarding concerns reported to diocese in England regarding children or vulnerable adults.

The inquiry's chairwoman, Prof Alexis Jay, said: "Over many decades, the Church of England failed to protect children and young people from sexual abusers, instead facilitating a culture where perpetrators could hide and victims faced barriers to disclosure that many could not overcome.”

The report made several recommendations, including:

  • the Church of England should improve how it responds to safeguarding complaints - by, for example, reintroducing a rule to expel any member of the clergy found guilty of child sexual abuse offences
  • responsibility for safeguarding should be taken out of the hands of diocesan bishops and given to safeguarding officers employed by the central hierarchy of the Church
  • the Church of England and Church in Wales should share information about clergy who move between the two institutions
  • both Churches should introduce policies for funding and support of survivors of child sexual abuse whose perpetrators had a connection to the Church

If you have suffered any abuse, our experienced Abuse team headed by Natalie Marrison are here to help. For a confidential discussion, please contact the Ramsdens Abuse team on 0113 8871 834 or email natalie.marrison@ramsdens.co.uk.