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IICSA published its final Report in October 2022. This website was last updated in January 2023.

Child sexual abuse inquiry launches landmark Legacy Project in Westminster 

23 August 2022

Today in Westminster, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has marked the launch of its landmark Legacy Project, commemorating the bravery of all victims and survivors with benches and plaques bearing inspiring messages of hope. 

Victoria Embankment Gardens is the setting for a bench inscribed with the uplifting words from a victim and survivor who took part in the Inquiry’s Truth Project. It is one of up to 200 benches and plaques set to be placed across England and Wales, with each message chosen to prompt reflection or to spark conversation.

As the Inquiry comes to a close this year, the project stands alongside the conclusions of its final Report due to be published in October, supporting real change and ensuring the vital public conversation around child sexual abuse continues, beyond the lifetime of the Inquiry.

“For me, the Legacy Project is symbolic. The prevailing message is ‘you’re not alone’, ‘you’ll be heard’ ,‘your voice matters’. “ - Victims and Survivors Forum member.

Attending the launch, Chair of the Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay, will pay tribute to the thousands of victims and survivors who have made a vital contribution to the Inquiry’s work:

 “The courage of the thousands of victims and survivors who have contributed to the work of the Inquiry cannot be overstated.  Our Legacy Project is dedicated to their bravery, shining a light on their experiences which have been so pivotal in making changes to protect future generations of children. Their voices must continue to be heard. 

 “As we have seen through our work, child sexual abuse has been hidden and its devastating consequences buried, for too long. Through the Legacy Project, it is our hope to break down the stigma and silence which so often surrounds child sexual abuse by sparking a much more public conversation. If we are to better support and protect children and adult victims and survivors, society must be prepared to discuss the issue openly and frankly.”

Throughout England and Wales, benches and plaques will form part of a long-standing, easily accessible legacy located in gardens, parks, towns and other public spaces. While every bench or plaque stands alone, the Inquiry’s Legacy Project creates a communal space for reflection on shared experiences, helping all victims and survivors, however far apart, to never feel alone.  

The Inquiry has also launched a new legacy Instagram page, enabling users to follow the development of the project, share their own photos of plaques and benches and provide a digital space for anyone who wishes to be involved. Benches will also feature a QR code linking to the Legacy web page. This will feature an online bench locator, enabling viewers to easily find the closest plaque or bench to them, as well as clear signposting for help and support services.

Since the Inquiry began, we have seen an increased understanding of the devastating extent and impacts of child sexual abuse. Through the Legacy Project, we will continue to encourage a more open conversation by building public awareness around child sexual abuse, creating an environment where victims and survivors feel better supported to talk about their experiences. 

If you’d like to be involved in the Legacy Project, you can find out more by visiting the Inquiry’s website and Legacy Instagram page, or by following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Notes to editors

1. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is examining the extent to which institutions and organisations have failed to protect children in England and Wales from sexual abuse.

2. Institutional failure means either the abuse was reported to someone in a position of authority, such as the police or a social worker, but appropriate action was not taken, or that the abuser was someone in a position of power, such as a teacher or religious leader.

3. The Inquiry has 15 investigations, a research programme and its Truth Project, which came to a close in October 2021. More than 6,200 victims and survivors shared their accounts in person, over the phone, via video call or in writing.

4. The Inquiry has already made 87 recommendations across its investigations and Interim Report.

5. The Inquiry’s Final Report is due to be published on 20 October 2022.



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