Vatican refuses to co-operate with IICSA’s requests to provide witness evidence about child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church

Latest developments in the Roman Catholic investigation have included further dates and that the Vatican has refused to co-operate with IICSA’s requests to provide witness evidence about child abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.

IICSA was told, on 25 September 2019 at a preliminary hearing about the investigation into the Roman Catholic Church, that the Vatican considered the requests made to it by IICSA were improper and it said that its officials were protected by diplomatic immunity.

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IICSA – Phase Two of the Residential Schools Investigation

Clarification has now been received concerning phase two of IICSA’s investigation into the nature and extent of, and institutional response to, child sexual abuse in residential schools, including schools in the state and independent sectors and school for children with disabilities and/or special educational needs.

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IICSA poll finds that more than three quarters of child abuse survivors feel stereotyped

A poll of 116 survivors from IICSA’s Victims and Survivors Forum found that 69% of people did not speak about the abuse due to fears of being stereotyped and 81% said they have felt stereotyped since disclosing the abuse.

Many survivors talked about how they felt “put in a box” after disclosing their abuse, describing how they had been labelled as emotionally unstable, damaged or weak.  They explained the detrimental impact this had had on their professional and personal lives.

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Universities in the spotlight: Sexual abuse on campus – the US perspective

In the US, the start of the academic year is called the “red zone”, as more than 50% of sexual assaults are said to occur between August and November. These assaults are under-reported and, until recently, have not always been properly investigated.  Criminal prosecutions of rape and sexual assault cases occurring on campus are rare and universities have been accused of protecting those accused of sexual assault, including athletes.

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Universities in the spotlight: Sexual abuse on campus – the UK perspective

There has been a marked increase in the number of reported incidents of sexual assaults or misconduct made by students. BBC File on Four (17 September 2019) asked 115 universities the number of complaints they received.  80 universities replied.  The combined number of complaints was more than 700 last year.  According to Channel Four, incidents reported went from 65 in 2014 to 626 in 2018, an 85% increase.  165 allegations of rape or sexual assault have been reported by students at one university alone in the last three years.  This trend reflects an increased willingness to report incidents – although many are never reported – and an increased willingness to investigate them.

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38 men file law suit against Yeshiva University High School for Boys, New York City as State lifts limitation bar for one year

Last month, 38 former students of Yeshiva University High School for Boys in New York City filed a lawsuit against the school alleging systematic sexual abuse by Rabbi George Finkelstein, Rabbi Macy Gordon and Richard Andron, during the mid-50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.  34 of the plaintiffs (known as claimants in English law) tried to sue Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 2013, however their actions failed in 2014 when a New York District Court Judge ruled that their claims were time barred.

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IICSA publishes report in Accountability and Reparations investigation

At 12pm on Thursday 19 September 2019 IICSA published its report in the Accountability and Reparations investigation.

This IICSA investigation was set up to inquire into the extent to which existing support services and available legal process effectively deliver reparations to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

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