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April 2018
Foreword

I was appointed as Chair in August 2016. In December 2016, having completed a review of the Inquiry’s programme of work, I announced that we would publish an interim report in April 2018. Since then, the Inquiry has held five public hearings, published a number of reports about specific parts of its work ‒ including the findings of two public hearings ‒ and held a series of seminars to discuss issues relevant to child sexual abuse. Over 1,000 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have shared their experience with the Inquiry’s Truth Project.

This interim report brings together the work described above and sets out the progress we are making. It provides an overview of the public hearings that have examined the conduct of specific institutions. It also draws on the Inquiry’s analysis of existing research and discussions at the Inquiry’s seminars about key issues relating to the Inquiry’s scope.

We also include what the Inquiry is learning from the Truth Project. This reflects the wishes of the many victims and survivors who have participated in the Truth Project who want to have their experiences used by the Inquiry in its work.

Where the Panel and I consider there are changes that can be made now to better protect children from sexual abuse, we say so and we make a number of recommendations. We expect institutions to act on our recommendations and, in the interests of openness and transparency, ask that each institution publishes details of the steps they will take in response and the timescales involved.

The report also sets out the key themes emerging from the Inquiry’s work so far. This has raised important issues about society’s reluctance to discuss child sexual abuse, which we consider must be addressed if we want institutions to better protect children from this abuse in the future. We also consider that senior leaders within institutions must be more open and honest in recognising failures to protect children from sexual abuse in the past.

There is much evidence still to be heard ‒ including a further eight public hearings in the next 12 months alone ‒ so we expect further themes to emerge as the Inquiry progresses. There are also other areas that have emerged for potential investigation. The Inquiry will give careful consideration to these as our work progresses.

I indicated in December 2016 that I expected the Inquiry to have made substantial progress by 2020. I believe that we are on course to achieve this.

Professor Alexis Jay OBE
Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

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