The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, IICSA, has today published its interim report. This provided an update on progress in the Inquiry’s investigations, including the child migration programmes and an overview of the public hearings that have examined the conduct of specific institutions including the Church of England.
The interim report also looked at learning from the Truth Project, reflecting the wishes of the victims and survivors who have participated and want to have their experiences used by the Inquiry in its work; this included noting the effect of child sexual abuse on the survivor’s religion and faith.
The report notes that the Inquiry’s next Anglican church case study, following the three-week hearing into Chichester diocese, will be a one-week hearing into Peter Ball and will start on July 23 with a preliminary hearing on June 6.
The Inquiry is still considering its findings in the Chichester case study and these will be published alongside the findings from the Peter Ball case study hearing, in a separate report later in the year.
The Bishop of Horsham, Mark Sowerby, the Church of England’s deputy lead safeguarding bishop said: “We welcome IICSA’s interim report which provides a helpful overview of the work undertaken so far and has set out what the Chair and Panel consider to be the key emerging themes. As a Church we will be studying the report and the Panel’s recommendations carefully, particularly those which suggest specific changes to help us as an institution better protect children from sexual abuse.
The Church is committed to improving safeguarding right across its work and we were one of the first institutions to call for the Inquiry. We are particularly thankful to all the survivors who have given evidence to the Inquiry and helping us all to learn lessons, so we can better protect and respond to children and young people.”