We have previously commented on issues such as “catfishing” and online bullying both being issues of concern in the area of child abuse. The instant and anonymous access of social media forums as well as the interactive nature of online gaming, create opportunities for both those intent on abuse and those intent on bullying and blackmail.
Elizabeth Denham, the UK Information Commissioner, has spoken out on this issue and feels that future generations will be “astonished to think that we ever didn’t protect kids online.” She spoke in a forward thinking address while launching the Age Appropriate Design Code as a new set of privacy codes to be set by her office. Social media sites, online gaming sites and streaming services will need to abide by these new rules.
The Historical Institutional Abuse (Northern Ireland) Bill passed through the Commons yesterday before Parliament was dissolved in preparation for the December elections. This paves the way for the creation of a Redress Panel and the appointment of a Commissioner for Victims of residential Institutional abuse as recommended by Sir Anthony Hart in 2017.
The Department of Justice has produced figures which show that the average (median) time taken for processing cases where the main aspect was a sexual offence is 667 days. This is in comparison to an average of 167 days in all other case or as low as 138 days for cases where the offences relate to public order offences.
The time is calculated from the point when the case was either reported to or detected by the PSNI until the date when the case was finally disposed of at court.
Saturday 20th January marks the first anniversary of the publication of the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry Report. The report was published having been delivered to The Executive Office (formerly The Office of the First and Deputy First Ministers) as it was required to do. Continue reading
Earlier this year the University of Ulster (UUJ) along with Amnesty International (AI) met with representatives of those who had been in residential care in Northern Ireland and their legal representatives to discuss the issue of redress. The issue of redress arose again yesterday when former residents of homes protested outside Stormont demanding interim payments towards redress be made now.
Today the NSPCC (on behalf of the Home Office) has opened a hotline for use by individuals wishing to raise concerns about how their organisation is dealing with child abuse cases or potential risks to children. This service will also highlight patterns of failures. Continue reading