Victims attack ‘tokenistic’ inquiry into organised child exploitation

Sky News

September 24, 2020

By Jason Farrell

Victims groups believe they are being silenced and say the inquiry is hearing too much from institutions.

A top lawyer speaking on behalf of victims has led an extraordinary intervention into an inquiry on historical child sexual abuse, saying “we speak with one voice”.

Four days into the latest hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the review team has been told “it is simply not good enough”.

Victims groups believe they are being silenced and the evidence is being skewed towards the institutions that failed to protect them.

The latest strand of the IICSA is looking at child sexual exploitation by organised networks in England and Wales.

But this morning the hearing gave time for a joint statement from victims groups who accused the inquiry of “a profound imbalance in the evidence”, saying a large number of institutions had been heard but very few victims to challenge their narrative.

“You are not hearing from a single one of those who at a national level represent and work with victims and survivors,” said Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, speaking on behalf of victims. “Why are we hearing from one side and not the other?”

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