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

IICSA Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

The Report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse

Final report

I.4: Assurances on the prevention of sexual abuse

25. More than half of the participants in the Inquiry’s Truth Project stated that one of the reasons for sharing their experiences was to try to prevent abuse of other children.[1] During the Inquiry’s hearings, one witness said:

What we want is, recognise that this stuff happened, recognise it didn’t need to happen. We need to hold to account the systems, if not the people, that the systems failed us. If we can achieve that, and if, as I mentioned earlier on, we can also recognise that the adversities that are caused in these circumstances are lifelong in their effect and generationally they affect so many people, if there is a recognition of all of that, then perhaps these organisations will be far more careful in the future, and hopefully prevent it from happening again and again and again.[2]

26. Some victims and survivors wanted institutions to explain why the abuse was allowed to happen, and to be given assurances that the institutions would not let it happen again to other children.[3]

27. Evidence of institutions providing such assurances to victims and survivors was not commonplace. In the context of civil litigation, one defendant solicitor told the Inquiry that, on a limited number of occasions, he had been able to facilitate meetings between claimants and defendant institutions:

so that the assurances can actually be provided face to face and that the survivor can ask any questions that they wish about what practices/procedures are in place nowadays”.

However, he cautioned that, with non-recent claims, the institution in question may have “transformed out of all recognition” since the abuse took place.[4]

28. Informing victims and survivors about preventive steps which have been taken to protect children since the abuse occurred can be of real significance to them. Not only can it reassure the individual who has been abused, it can also help institutions prioritise the identification of failings in order to prevent future abuse. An example of an institution engaging victims and survivors in respect of future safeguarding work is the National Survivors Panel set up by the Church of England.[5]


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