Joint response to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
The concluding report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse shows institutional failures to protect children and young people from sexual violence. We know it takes male survivors an average of 26 years to disclose their experiences, if they ever do. We have partnered with our friends and allies in Mankind UK and Survivors Manchester to issue this joint response to the Inquiry, and call upon the Government to act upon its recommendations now.
“Survivors UK, Mankind UK, and Survivors Manchester, three leading male-specific survivor organisations in the UK, collectively and warmly accept the concluding report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The voices of survivors of sexual violence need to be heard and we believe that the Inquiry has proved a good model of practice in this respect. Working directly with survivors – some of whom have been our clients – the Inquiry heard 7,300 survivors give evidence and provide testimony over the past seven years and we give thanks to them whilst recognising that for many other survivors, the Inquiry has failed to hear and engage them.
And yet, we are deeply saddened that the findings of the Inquiry have been so heavily overshadowed by the resignation of the Prime Minister. The sexual abuse of children must stop being relegated to ‘other news’ and society must ensure it is pushed and remains front page news. The failure to protect children from sexual abuse is institutional, as this Inquiry proves – change needs to happen now.
We call upon the next Prime Minister and Cabinet immediately to accept the Inquiry’s recommendations and then deliver upon them. This is an action that will require proper resourcing, not just promises.
As organisations and leaders in the field of male survivors, we express some disappointment that after 7 years the recommendations do not necessarily count as new, and we recognise that many organisations, leaders and activists have been campaigning and lobbying on many of these points for many years. Therefore, we hope that now they are contained within the report, action will be taken not only to implement them, but also to ensure that any implementation is ‘stress tested’ effectively, and the impact on all survivors is taken into account.
Time and again, government has dragged its heels in acting upon the recommendations of investigations, survivors, and organisations like ours to end sexual violence. The cost of inaction to survivors is far greater than the £186.6m that has been spent on this Inquiry. Their voices and this report deserve to be acted upon now.
We open our doors to Government and are ready to support the legacy work of the work of IICSA”
Duncan Craig OBE, Survivors Manchester
Lucy Hughes, Mankind UK
Gary Williams, Survivors UK
21st October 2022.