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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Theresa May: Child abuse in the UK runs far deeper than you know

    The inquiry into child abuse is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expose abuse and protect children in future.


    By Theresa May, Home Secretary6:20AM GMT 14 Mar 2015


    This week marked a new beginning for the independent panel inquiry into child sexual abuse. The announcement on Thursday of a four-person panel, the confirmation of the power to compel witnesses and the removal of any cut-off date from the Terms of Reference, means the chairman, Justice Lowell Goddard, can now take the inquiry forward, following the evidence wherever it takes her.

    We already know the trail will lead into our schools and hospitals, our churches, our youth clubs and many other institutions that should have been places of safety but instead became the setting for the most appalling abuse. However, what the country doesn’t yet appreciate is the true scale of that abuse.

    And that is quite understandable. I have only learnt about the extent and breadth of the problem since I first announced an overarching inquiry into whether public bodies and other non-state institutions had failed in their duty of care towards children.

    It is a matter of public record that the inquiry had a difficult beginning. We did not realise the degree to which survivors mistrusted the political establishment. And we set up the inquiry in the way Whitehall always sets up inquiries. But it wasn’t enough for survivors to have the inquiry, its chairman and its terms of reference presented to them as a fait accompli. We needed to work with survivors if we were going to get those things right. It was through this collaboration that my understanding of this complex issue grew.

    I learnt the way in which words and phrases can unintentionally cause distress. I was asked not to use the word “historical” in relation to child sexual abuse as to every person who has suffered there is nothing “historical” about what happened to them. They live with the knowledge and the consequences of their abuse each and every day of their lives.

    It was explained to me that while the majority of people who have been abused prefer the term survivors, some prefer the term “victim” as there are many people who don’t survive.

    I met young survivors (they prefer the term and, certainly, they are no longer children) and saw how the lives that lay ahead would be so much harder as a result of the pain and distrust that had become a part of them. In my discussions with older victims and survivors and their representatives, I began to realise how abuse is woven, covertly, into the fabric of our society.

    During one of my first meetings with survivors, one lady said to me: “Get this inquiry right and it will be like a stick of Blackpool rock. You will see abuse going through every level of society.” I fear she is right. I have said before and I shall say again, that what we have seen so far is only the tip of iceberg.

    When I set up this inquiry I did so because the need for such a probe was clear. There was the systematic abuse of vulnerable girls in Derby, Oxford and towns around Britain; the growing concerns about an alleged Westminster paedophile ring and the crimes committed by Jimmy Savile and others who abused their celebrity status.

    In recent years, we have watched the slow trickle of allegations become a flood. Yet, incredibly, some people still question whether we need an inquiry. “What’s the point?” they say. “It’s so long ago and we know it all now. Leave it in the past where it belongs.” But how on earth are we to learn lessons for the future if we don’t address the wrongs of the past?

    The victims and survivors who have had the courage to speak out are clear that they have done so for one common reason – to save the next generation of children from the abuse they suffered. That is what this inquiry is for. Justice Lowell Goddard will look at abuse that has taken place in state and non-state institutions in England and Wales and determine why it was possible for that abuse to take place.

    This means that where there has been a failure to protect children from abuse, we will expose it and we will learn from it.

    The inquiry won’t probe individuals but where there is evidence a person has abused their position – no matter how high or how low that position – it will be passed to the police to investigate. So if there has been a cover-up, we will uncover it. And if perpetrators of child sexual abuse are found, they will be brought to justice.

    The inquiry won’t examine abuse that has taken place within the family but it is my hope that by confronting the issue head on, it will encourage more people to come forward and report such abuse to the authorities. And I hope and believe it will give all victims and survivors a voice. For too long nobody listened, nobody wanted to admit the darkness in our midst.

    It is the job of the inquiry to get to the truth, to examine the how, why, where and when of institutional abuse. I truly believe it represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity and that once its work is done, we will never look at society in the same way again.

    Theresa May: Child abuse in the UK runs far deeper than you know - Telegraph

  2. #2
    ENT
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    I hope she's right. It's more than high time for an in depth enquiry, followed by further prosecutions of the so far well guarded elite.

  3. #3
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    Squeaky bum time for many.

  4. #4
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    They'll only uncover the ones who are already dead.

  5. #5
    ENT
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    It'll be good to see the teachers and care home managers, along with the aristocracy, royals, MPs, police, military heroes, councilors and wannabe ragheads all ending up in the same basket, dealt to.

    Other than the ragheads, all pillars of society.

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