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How we work

The Inquiry is guided by three principles. It will be comprehensive, inclusive, and thorough. We have devised how we will work around those principles.

Three Core Projects

The Inquiry is divided into three Core Projects:

  • the Research Project
  • the Truth Project
  • the Public Hearings Project

Together, the evidence received in all three projects will inform the overall conclusions and recommendations of the Chair and the Panel.

The Truth Project

The Truth Project allows victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences with the Inquiry. Those who wish to take part can attend a private session at one of our offices across England or Wales to share their experience with a member of the Inquiry. Their accounts are not tested, challenged, or contradicted. The information supplied is anonymised and will be considered by the Chair and Panel members when reaching their conclusions and making recommendations for the future. As part of the Truth Project, victims and survivors will be given an opportunity to write a message to be published together with the Inquiry’s annual reports. More information about the Truth Project is in our guide for those who wish to share their experience. Visit our Victims and Survivors area to find out more, or to take part.

The Research Project

The Research and Analysis Project is one of the three core parts of the Inquiry, working alongside the Truth Project and the Public Hearings Project. The Research and Analysis Project works across all the Inquiry’s 13 investigations.

The Research and Analysis Project brings together in one place what is already known about child sexual abuse and finds out the gaps in our knowledge. It carries out new research. Including analysing  the information that the Inquiry receives through the Truth Project. The Research and Analysis Project also quality assures internal Inquiry data so that its use can be defended.

The Public Hearings Project

The Public Hearings Project resembles a conventional public inquiry, where witnesses give evidence on oath and are subject to cross examination. The Inquiry is selecting case studies from a range of institutions that appear to illustrate a pattern of institutional failings. Each hearing will last for around six weeks. A hearing may relate to a particular individual who appears to have been enabled to sexually abuse children in institutional settings. Or it may relate to an institution that appears to have demonstrated repeated failings over a number of years. Evidence is likely to be taken from both representatives of the institutions under investigation, and from victims and survivors of sexual abuse. The Inquiry does not have the power to convict abusers of criminal offences or to award compensation to victims and survivors. However, it will use its fact-finding powers fully to make findings against named individuals or institutions where the evidence justifies it.

Headquarters and Regional centres

The Inquiry has offices across England and Wales to reflect the geographical span of its work. These are located in Liverpool, Darlington, Cardiff and Exeter.

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