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1 Introduction

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (‘the Inquiry’) was established as an independent statutory inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2005 on 12 March 2015 by the then Home Secretary. The purpose and scope of the Inquiry are set out in its Terms of Reference[1], which state that it is:

to consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed; to identify further action needed to address any failings identified; to consider the steps which it is necessary for State and non-State institutions to take in order to protect children from such abuse in future; and to publish a report with recommendations.

The Chair of the Inquiry is Professor Alexis Jay OBE and there are three Panel members: Professor Sir Malcolm Evans KCMG OBE, Ivor Frank and Drusilla Sharpling CBE.

The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference require it to publish an interim report by the end of 2018. The publication of this report fulfils that responsibility.

This report sets out how the Inquiry has undertaken its work (Chapter 2) and describes the nature and effects of child sexual abuse (Chapter 3). It provides an update on the public hearings held by the Inquiry to date (Chapter 4) and on the Inquiry’s work considering current responses to tackling child sexual abuse (Chapter 5). The report also considers what the Inquiry has learned so far in relation to four key strategic themes (Chapter 6) and concludes by setting out the Inquiry’s work programme for the coming year (Chapter 8).

Recommendations for change are made throughout this report ‒ they are also listed in (Chapter 7) for ease of reference. Each recommendation is addressed to an institution. The Inquiry expects institutions to act upon its recommendations and ‒ in the interest of transparency and openness ‒ asks that each institution publishes details of the steps they will take in response to the recommendation, including the timetable involved. This should be done within six months of the publication of this report unless the recommendation says otherwise.


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