On 2 May, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse announced a new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings. A preliminary hearing will take place at 2pm on 23 July 2019 and public hearings will take place in 2020. Details of the Press Release are reproduced below.
Inquiry announces new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings
2 May 2019
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has announced a new investigation into child protection in religious organisations and settings.
The investigation will be thematic and will review the current child protection policies, practices and procedures in religious institutions in England and Wales.
Organisations falling under the remit of this investigation will include non conformist Christian denominations, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Buddhism. This investigation is separate from our investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches.
Religious settings such as mosques, synagogues, churches and temples are in scope. Places of faith tuition such as Muslim madrassahs and Christian Sunday schools and places where children and young people gather in connection with their religious beliefs, including youth groups and camps will also be investigated by the Inquiry.
More than one in 10 survivors of child sexual abuse (11 per cent) who shared their accounts with the Inquiry’s Truth Project reported sexual abuse in a religious institution. Of this group, almost a quarter (24 percent) told the Inquiry they were abused in institutions in scope of this new investigation, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Judaism and Islam. Not all participants provided details about the religious denomination of the institution or perpetrator.
Organisations and individuals are being invited to apply for core participant status. Core participants must have a significant interest in this investigation and have special rights defined by legislation.
A preliminary hearing will take place at 2pm on 23 July 2019 and public hearings will take place in 2020.
11% versus 89%. Hmmm. So, it’s quite likely that eight times as much of the abuse being inquired into as occurs in religious settings, goes on in settings that have nothing to do with religion. The highly-publicised abuse in religious settings is like the tip of an iceberg, most of which is invisibe beneath the surface.