IICSA publishes report into child sexual abuse in sport

IICSA has recently published a Truth Project thematic report that focuses on child sexual abuse within sport. The report follows a detailed, qualitative analysis of victim and survivor experiences of child sexual abuse in sport to identify themes and inform future recommendations.

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Further pressure on NI Interim Commissioner for Victims

Just over a week after the NI Executive opened the process to appoint a full-time commissioner for victims and survivors of institutional abuse the Interim commissioner, Brendan McAllister, has come under further pressure to resign as a result of his role in the Catholic Church.  It was known that he had started the process of becoming a Deacon in the Catholic Church and he recently took part in a service in St Peter’s church in his full clerical garb.

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Polish priests refuse to confirm loyalty to bishop accused of sex abuse cover-up

Priests in the Polish diocese of Kalisz have refused to sign letters of loyalty to their bishop, who has been accused in a documentary of covering up child sex abuse.

The documentary “Hide and Seek” by Marek and Tomasz Sekielski, was aired on YouTube on 16 May 2020, and has been watched by 7.2 million people.

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Australian Redress Scheme significantly increases its rate of outcomes

Readers of this blog will be aware that we have commented in the past on the slow rate of decision making in the Australian National Redress Scheme (NRS).

In our blog published on 28/05/2020 we also reported on the First Interim Report of the Joint Select Committee on Implementation of the National Redress Scheme in Australia which also made a series of recommendations about how the NRS and its day-to-day functioning could be reviewed and improved.

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Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry releases spring / summer 2020 newsletter

On 9 June 2020 the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry (SCAI) released a spring / summer 2020 newsletter. This is the seventh SCAI newsletter (link here). This newsletter gives reassurance that SCAI has not stopped working during the COVID-19 (C-19) crisis albeit public hearings – including on child migration and, separately, boarding schools – are postponed until further notice.

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Codeword scheme for domestic abuse victims

The Government recently hosted a virtual Hidden Harms Summit in Downing Street with the aim of supporting victims of abuse during the current health crisis.

The Summit was hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and attendees included representatives from the National Crime Agency, National Police Chiefs’ Council, victims’ commissioners and leading domestic abuse and children’s charities.

The focus on the summit was to put measures in place to support victims of crimes such as domestic abuse, sexual violence, child sexual abuse and modern slavery.

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Online abuse

As countries have closed schools to contain the pandemic there are warnings that there is an increased risk of children being groomed and coerced online into making explicit images and videos of themselves.  A combination of children spending more time at home and on the internet is creating the ‘perfect storm’.

Data gathered by the BBC reveals that demand for imagery has shot up.  Europol said it had seen increased online activity by those seeking child abuse material and reports of obscene online material more than doubled globally between March to April 2020.

Childline and the NSPCC have both reported an increase in those seeking support through their helplines.

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The Windrush Compensation Scheme pays out £360,000 within first year but still facing serious criticism

The Windrush Compensation Scheme opened in April 2019 following an outcry over the treatment of British citizens from the Caribbean who faced deportation and the loss of access to public services after being wrongly swept up in an immigration crackdown.

In order for a payment to be made under the scheme, an applicant must first accept the offer made. If an applicant is unhappy with the offer made he/she can request a free internal review. If an applicant still does not agree with the outcome, the applicant can request a further review from the Independent Adjudicator.

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Another inquiry in to child sexual abuse – duplication of the work of IICSA?

Earlier this week the former home secretary, Sajid Javid, commented upon the surge in child sexual abuse which has occurred during the Coronavirus lockdown. He said that he will lead a “no holds barred” inquiry with the Centre for Social Justice think tank to examine organised child sexual exploitation and the abuse of children online.

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IICSA – an update: research

Research publications cover a range of topics. The most recent research report has considered the motives and behaviours of perpetrators of child sexual exploitation who were convicted alongside other perpetrators. This is one of 15 reports which have been published covering a wide range of subjects. There remain four ongoing research projects which include safeguarding in residential schools, support services for victims and survivors and CSA in ethnic minority communities.

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