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Inquiry meeting with BAME communities in Bristol

28 March 2018

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is hosting a meeting today with Bristol’s black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) community leaders to raise awareness of the Truth Project.

Victims and survivors of child sexual abuse will be speaking at the event, as well as the Head of Inquiry Office for the South West, David Poole.

Sabah Kaiser, who grew up in the Pakistani community in Bristol, was sexually abused as a child. She will talk about her experience of participating in the Truth Project and how it can benefit victims and survivors of child sexual abuse.

The Truth Project is an opportunity for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience with the Inquiry during a confidential session. Participants can give as much or as little detail about what happened as they would like and they are not questioned or cross examined. There are no legal consequence of attending a Truth Project session and victims and survivors are offered emotional and psychological support before, during and after their session.

The Inquiry holds regular sessions all over the country, including Exeter, London and Cardiff. There are temporary Truth Projects set up in towns and cities across England and Wales, wherever there is a demand.

Victims and survivors in Bristol may have recently seen or listened to adverts promoting the Truth Project. The Inquiry launched its nationwide ‘I will be heard’ awareness campaign at the start of the year in order to publicise the Truth Project as widely as possible.

Michael May, the head of the London and South East Inquiry Office, said: “Engaging with all communities is a hugely important part of our work. The Truth Project gives victims and survivors the opportunity to be heard, recognised and respected - and they can also make recommendations for change. Unless we hear from victims and survivors from all communities - including those from BAME backgrounds - this Inquiry will not be able to fulfil its remit.”

Sabah Kaiser, a survivor of child sexual abuse said: “I feel that what happened to me is happening and has happened to many Pakistani girls and women. The public needs to know about what is happening and about the cover-up that often follows disclosure - particularly in some ethnic minority communities.

“Authorities have been failing CSE survivors for decades, lessons are not being learnt and I fear lessons will not be learned until victims and survivors from all backgrounds come forward.  We do not all look the same and I would like to encourage victims and survivors - whatever your race or religion - to make contact with the Truth Project.”

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 will make recommendations for change with the aim of ensuring institutions will do more to protect children from sexual abuse in the future.  

  4. The Truth Project, which is part of the Inquiry, gives victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the opportunity to share their experience of abuse with a trained facilitator in a confidential setting. There are no legal consequences to attending a Truth Project session.

  5. The Truth Project aims to put victims and survivors’ needs first. They can share as much or as little information as they feel comfortable with and suggest measures that might protect children from sexual abuse in the future.

  6. The Truth Project  is accessible by car, bus and train;  we can cover travel expenses, and victims and survivors can bring a companion with them.

  7. You can contact us and find out more about the Truth Project at www.truthproject.org.uk

  8. Follow us on social media via Facebook: @IICSATruthProject and Twitter: @InquiryCSA

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