12 June 2014
Toughening Child Abuse Laws Not About Increasing Convictions
Currently in the UK it is not mandatory for people who have a duty of care towards children and young people to report suspicions, or even proof of abuse to the Police.
This means abusers like Jimmy Savile were able to continue to assault youngsters for decades even though the victims routinely reported what had happened to those in authority whether it was a head teacher, senior doctor or care home manager.
In Savile’s case his fundraising was often cited as the reason those in power chose to turn a blind-eye, but for organisations potential reputational damage was often placed before the welfare of children.
In parts of Scandinavia, Australia and in the USA, Mandatory Reporting, a compulsion to report or face criminal charges is already in place. There is now, in the wake of scandals in recent years, a ground swell of support for a similar law in the UK.
Mandatory Reporting will make Britain’s children safer, but not by locking up lots of people for covering up abuse.
What a new law will do is change culture and that will be hugely effective in making sure predators like Savile can never stalk the corridors of care homes and hospitals unchallenged again.
When a professional is told of physical or sexual abuse taking place there should not be an option about what they do next – there should never be a choice. Mandatory Reporting would have teeth by making cover ups a criminal offence and quickly the culture would change.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers are campaigning for Mandatory Reporting. We want to see pledges from all three main political parties that they will move towards making it law. We are working with policy makers, academics and victims of abuse to push for change.
Slater and Gordon offer a free consultation for victims of abuse and any communication will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.
Please call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help you. Our contact centre is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Bristol, Birmingham, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Halifax, Wakefield & meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire.
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