On Tuesday 6th October 2020, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its full report into the Anglican Church. This follows the interim report, which was published in May 2019, focusing upon case studies from the Diocese of Chichester and the abuses by Bishop Peter Ball. YCW spoke to Thirtyone:eight, who provide a regular column on safeguarding in YCW, about some of the implications
YCW: The report on the Church of England track record doesn't make comfortable reading. What was your assessment of it?
Thirtyone:eight: The report has highlighted some serious failings in the culture and practices that have existed across the Anglican Church in recent decades. It has identified eight recommendations in conclusion to the 170 pages of summarised detail gained from the investigation.
On one hand, it is encouraging that the Church of England has responded positively to the report and many of the recommended concern areas are seeing changes in progress.
However, the recommendations lack the sufficient weight and clarity that is needed. Some areas have received little or no real attention at all. This seems like a missed opportunity to make some real progress with matters that have been problematic for too long.
Many victims, survivors and their advocates had been calling upon the inquiry to make some clear and strong recommendations about matters such as mandatory reporting, changes to existing ‘position of trust’ legislation, independent and external scrutiny, redress schemes and effective survivor engagement.
While it is understandable that many of these issues extend beyond the scope of just the Anglican Church, it is disappointing to not see greater attention given to them and some commitment to continued scrutiny through the remaining investigations being led by the Inquiry.