This week an all-party report will demand a reckoning for the epidemic of institutional child abuse in the 1970s and 1980s
As police admitted for the first time last week that there was an “epidemic” of institutional child sexual abuse in church institutions, children’s homes, borstals, schools and foster families in the 1970s and 80s, chief constable Simon Bailey, the national lead for child protection and abuse investigations, said: “We do not understand the true scale of it … untold damage has been done to victims and survivors.” On 11 February a damning report by the all-party parliamentary group on Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse will be highly critical of the support and resources available to these children, now in their 50s, 60s and older, many of whom have spent a lifetime with their experiences not believed and redress unobtainable.
The report is titled Can Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse Access Justice and Support? and the conclusion is an emphatic “no”. Based on two years’ work, it finds all the major services, including police, health, crown prosecution and courts, are failing to address a potential national crisis, with support services struggling to meet demand.