Survivors of abuse predict a ‘deluge’ of complaints

Church Times

by Madeleine Davies

Posted: 27 Feb 2015

SURVIVORS of abuse have warned that thousands of people are likely to come forward with testimonies of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy in the national inquiry into historic child abuse. They are calling on the Church of England to establish a panel for redress now rather than wait to be compelled to do so.

The Bishop in charge of safeguarding, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, has cautioned against predicting numbers.

A spokeswoman for survivors of abuse within churches, Anne Lawrence, said this month that the Church would face a “deluge” of complaints.

“The Church should set up a redress board and ensure that all complainants can go there, and be provided with support from a range of services, including survivor organisations,” she said. “Research has consistently shown that over 90 per cent of allegations are true. But not one redress board has been set up. People are taking churches to court because, despite the confessions of offenders, convictions, and evidence within files, there is no willingness to provide redress. Going through the courts is a continuation of the abuse suffered and retraumatises the victims/survivors.”

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