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How we work

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

Three core projects

The Inquiry is divided into three core projects:

Information and evidence from all three projects will inform the Chair and Panel's overall conclusions and recommendations.

Public hearings

In a public hearing, witnesses give evidence on oath and are subject to cross examination. Because child sexual abuse is so wide ranging, case studies have been selected from a range of institutions that illustrate a pattern of institutional failings. 

Evidence has been taken from both representatives of the institutions under investigation, and from victims and survivors of child 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 uses 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 the public hearings across all the Inquiry’s 15 investigations.

The research and analysis programme:

  • brings together in one place what is already known about child sexual abuse to find out the gaps in our knowledge
  • carries out new research, including analysing the information from the Truth Project
  • quality assures internal Inquiry data.

The Truth Project

The Truth Project invites victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences with the Inquiry. Those who wish to take part can to share their experience in writing, by phone, by video call or in person. Their accounts are not tested, challenged or contradicted. Experiences shared are anonymised and will be considered by the Chair and Panel when reaching their conclusions and making recommendations for the future. Visit the Truth Project website to find out more, or to take part.

Headquarters and regional centres

The Inquiry has offices across England and Wales to reflect the geographical span of its work. Of these offices the Darlington, Exeter and Liverpool offices have now closed. The remaining regional office is located in Cardiff.

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