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Inquiry seminar: Impacts of CSA, support needs and support services - Day two summary

6 July 2017

Yesterday (5 July), the Chair and Panel heard testimony from victims and survivors and experts on the needs of child victims and the support services available to them

Yesterday (5 July), the Chair and Panel heard testimony from victims and survivors and experts on the needs of child victims and the support services available to them.

On the second day of the seminar, Professor Lorraine Radford from the University of Central Lancashire, presented her report: What can be learned about preventing and responding to Child Sexual Abuse and sexual exploitation from other jurisdiction.

After opening up the floor to a discussion on the findings in the report, victims and survivors shared their experiences of the support they received as children dealing with child sexual abuse.

One victim and survivor said: “As a child brought up in the care system, I came with labels. Acutely retarded was one of them.”

Another added: “As a small child when something happens to you, you have no concept or understanding of what’s happened. When I made the step of telling my teacher, he did nothing. When I told a police officer, who is a family member, he did nothing as the perpetrator was also in the family.”

The subject of discussion then moved to whether or not there is a fear from professionals to engage with allegations of child sexual abuse when a child comes forward. One participant expressed that “...the fear from professionals is that I don’t want to make a mistake… he seems like a really nice man I don't want to brand him a rapist...what if I’m wrong?”

“I think the fear of professionals receiving disclosure is absolutely rooted in the fact that child sexual abuse is endemic in this society and in fact globally. Nobody generally wants to believe the proportion of it, the level of it, because it’s a stain on humanity” expressed another participant.  

Finally, the participants discussed funding and the resources available for victim and survivor support services.

The Chair and Panel will use the information to inform the work and of the Inquiry and further seminars on the health sector and the criminal justice system will follow later this year.

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