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Areas of work

The Inquiry examines how and why organisations have failed to protect children from child sexual abuse and recommends changes that will better protect children in future.

The Inquiry is made up of three main areas of work:

Information, findings and evidence will help to inform the Chair and Panel's overall conclusions and recommendations.

Public hearings

The Inquiry launched 15 investigations into a broad range of institutions. Through 325 days of public and preliminary hearings, these investigations enabled us to build a better understanding of how institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse and make recommendations to help better protect children in the future.

To help ensure the Inquiry was able to thoroughly examine the extent of child sexual abuse across its broad remit, case studies were selected from a range of institutions that illustrated a pattern of institutional failings. 

Investigations also provided a voice to those failed by institutions, hearing evidence from victims and survivors, as well as external agencies, public authorities and representatives of the institutions under investigation. We have heard from 725 witnesses in total.

Whilst the Inquiry does not have the power to convict abusers of criminal offences or to award compensation to victims and survivors, it has used its fact-finding powers to make findings against named individuals or institutions where the evidence justifies it. 

Our programme of public hearings is now complete. Investigation reports are published at the conclusion of each case study, and the information gathered will inform the Chair and Panel’s recommendations in the Inquiry’s Final Report.

Research and analysis

The Inquiry's research and analysis team works alongside the Truth Project and across all the Inquiry’s 15 investigations, supporting the Inquiry to ask the right questions of the institutions it is investigating.

The research and analysis programme helps to bring together what is already known about child sexual abuse in one place, and aims to fill gaps in existing knowledge.

Our dedicated research function has also generated new insight into child sexual abuse, having undertaken primary research into a number of different areas. These include analysing the experiences shared through the Inquiry’s Truth Project, helping to build a clearer understanding of the extent of child sexual sexual abuse and institutional failures which enabled it to occur. 

The research will also help to inform the recommendations made in the Inquiry’s Final Report. 

The Truth Project

The Truth Project provided victims and survivors of child sexual abuse with a safe and supportive opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry and put forward suggestions for change. 6,000 have shared their account in person over the telephone, via video call or in writing. 

All accounts shared made an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry and helped to inform the Chair and Panel’s recommendations in the Inquiry’s Final Report.

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