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Inquiry Chair meets Welsh Victim and Survivor Groups

24 February 2016

Paving the way for the Inquiry’s Wales office, Welsh victim and survivor groups meet with Inquiry Chair.

The Chair of the Inquiry Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard DNZM today met with eight Welsh victim and survivor groups at the Sexual Assault Referral Centre in Cardiff Royal Infirmary. Also at the meeting was Inquiry Panel member, Professor Sir Malcolm Evans, and Michael May and Lucy Duckworth from the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel (VSCP).

At the meeting were representatives from Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre Wales, New Pathways, Seren, Survivors Trust Cymru, Stepping Stones, North Wales Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, and Ynys Saff Cardiff and Vale Sexual Assault Referral Centre.

The visit marks the next step in the Inquiry’s work in Wales. During the course of the meeting, the Chair discussed the Truth Project and set out plans for the opening of the Inquiry’s Welsh office, which will be located in Cardiff. She also launched the Welsh version of the Inquiry’s website

Hon. Dame Lowell Goddard said,

“I would like to thank the representatives of the Rape and Sexual Assault Support Centre Wales, New Pathways, Seren, Survivors Trust Cymru, Stepping Stones, North Wales Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Cyfannol Women’s Aid, and Ynys Saff Cardiff and Vale Sexual Assault Referral Centre for taking the time to talk to me about their work and to Ynys Saff SARC for hosting our meeting today. Every single day these organisations work incredibly hard, supporting victims and survivors of child sexual abuse right across Wales.

“Child sexual abuse over successive generations has left permanent scars on victims and survivors. Already the Macur review, which will be published shortly, has looked into the  Waterhouse Inquiry relating to children in care in North Wales. As part of our work, we will carefully study its findings and recommendations.

“I urge any victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, who have suffered because an institution in Wales failed in its duty to protect you, to get in touch with the Inquiry. Whatever your city, town or village, regardless of how big or how small, we want to hear from you.

“The Inquiry’s Truth Project allows victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience with us. As well as enabling victims and survivors of abuse to contribute to the work of the Inquiry, it helps us to gain a better understanding of why so many crimes went unreported and undetected for so long. Victims and survivors will be able to share their experience with the Inquiry in Wales; Truth Project private sessions will begin later this year. 

“I am also pleased to announce today that the main content of the Inquiry website is now available in Welsh and that work has started on our Inquiry office in Wales this week which will open its doors here in Cardiff in May. I hope both of these will enable more victims and survivors to share their experience with us.”

Michael May and Lucy Duckworth from the Inquiry’s Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel accompanied the Chair on her visit and said,

“For too long, too many people have suffered in silence. Through the Truth Project, victims and survivors can at last have their voices heard and, most importantly, will not have their experiences questioned or cross-examined. We would encourage anyone who is a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse and who wants to share their experience to contact the Inquiry helpline or website.”

“The Victim and Survivors Consultative Panel have worked with Inquiry staff to ensure the Truth Project process puts the needs of victims and survivors at its heart. In particular, we have been involved in the support made available to those who come forwards and the training of those who will facilitate the Truth Project.”

Manager of the Ynys Saff Cardiff and Vale Sexual Assault Referral Centre, Ruth Nash said, 

“Everyday Ynys Saff Cardiff and Vale SARC works with the victims and survivors of sexual violence, providing counselling and specialist support to help people recover, share their experiences and bring perpetrators to justice.

“It can be incredibly difficult for anyone to share an experience of sexual abuse - whether it happened recently or a long time ago. The victims and survivors we work with tell us how important it is to be able to tell someone what has happened to them and to be believed. It’s a really important part of the Inquiry that victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have the opportunity to share their experiences.

“The Truth Project element of the independent Inquiry will hopefully give that opportunity to many more people who have, until now, been living silently under the shadow of child sexual abuse. We look forward to working with the Inquiry and its Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel to make sure the sharing of experience happens in as sensitive and supportive a way as possible.”

FULL PRESS RELEASE CAN BE FOUND HERE

FULL PRESS RELEASE IN WELSH CAN BE FOUND HERE

 
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