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October saw the publication of a 154-page report on failures to prevent child sexual abuse in the Anglican Church in England and Wales, which the Church itself has described as ‘shocking’.
NB: ‘Child sexual abuse’ includes the ‘non-contact’ offences of viewing, possessing or producing indecent images of children.
Whenever such reports are published, the ECA’s Safeguarding team look carefully to see what we can learn. The report is is extremely long and detailed so we’ll list below some points that appear again and again and which stood out for us.
The report is part of a continuing public inquiry, The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which has for several years been conducting hearings about child sexual abuse in the institutions of public life in England and Wales. Having looked at the major Churches, this year they looked at child protection in minority faiths, including Buddhism. Triratna’s ECA Safeguarding officer Munisha was called to testify last May.
NB: IICSA is not investigating cases of child sexual abuse but inquiring into the conditions which enabled it and what changes to law, regulation and Safeguarding measures are needed to make it less likely in future.
Now let’s return to this report on the Church of England and the Church in Wales. It flags up a number of areas of concern, and makes several recommendations. Some of these same concerns were raised with Munisha during her testimony. It’s clear that in 2021 IICSA will recommend changes in law and regulation relating to all faith groups in England and Wales.
We also note that
Matters IICSA will be returning to consider