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Goodbye Jesus

Religious groups shamed over failures to report child sexual abuse


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Here is the article from the Times newspaper.




Here is the home site of the I.I.C.S.A., which undertook the investigation.




This independent investigation was ordered by the British government in 2014.





From the Times online article...


Religious organisations are failing to report child abuse because of victim-blaming, “shame and honour” and ideas of sexual “purity”, an inquiry has found.

Abuse has been found in most of the main UK religions, according to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which also highlighted the abuse of power by religious leaders and a mistrust of the government because of concerns about persecution or discrimination.

The inquiry discovered cover-ups as religious organisations prioritised their reputations above the needs of victims of sexual abuse.

A review of sexual abuse allegations involving prominent people or relating to institutions between 2015 and 2020 found 11 per cent (443) of cases were linked to religious organisations and 10 per cent of suspects (726) were employed by or linked to religious organisations.


Professor Alexis Jay, chairwoman of the inquiry, said: “Religious organisations are defined by their moral purpose of teaching right from wrong and protection of the innocent and the vulnerable.


“However, when we heard about shocking failures to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse across almost all major religions, it became clear many are operating in direct conflict with this mission.


“Blaming the victims, fears of reputational damage and discouraging external reporting are some of the barriers victims and survivors face, as well as clear indicators of religious organisations prioritising their own reputations above all else. For many, these barriers have been too difficult to overcome.”

Victims who gave evidence to the inquiry include a girl who was aged 12 when she was abused by a church warden. A church minister told her mother that the abuser was “valued” and must be considered “innocent until proven guilty”.


Four victims were abused at about nine years old while they were being taught the Koran in a mosque. The teacher was convicted in 2017 and sentenced to 13 years in jail.

The inquiry’s 226-page report found in some communities children were not taught about sex or sexual relationships and in certain languages there were no words for rape, sexual abuse or genitalia.


It also highlighted the preponderance of men occupying both positions of spiritual and religious leadership and senior lay positions.

A review by the training provider Strengthening Faith found that only 37 per cent of religious organisations had up-to-date checks on criminal convictions.

The report recommends that all religious organisations should have a child protection policy and supporting procedures.

It also highlighted that an estimated 250,000 children in England and Wales receive “supplementary schooling” or “out-of-school provision” from a faith organisation.

At present there is no requirement for such schools to be registered with any state body and they have no supervision or oversight in respect of child protection.

The inquiry recommended that the government should legislate to amend the definition of full-time education to bring any setting that is the pupil’s primary place of education within the scope of a registered school.


Thank you.



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