It has emerged that there are likely to be more allegations of child sex abuse against members of the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken freely in an interview about his thoughts and concerns.
Archbishop Justin Welby said that he has to deal with child abuse issues on a daily basis and expects an overarching abuse inquiry to reveal "bad stories" about the Church of England.
A member of Slater and Gordon Abuse Team, who represents abuse victims internationally, said, "The Church of England has had to confront countless allegations of child sex abuse by members of the clergy in recent years. It has possibly not faced the numbers that the Catholic Church has had to endure, but in light of the recent celebrity abuse cases and the various on-going inquiries, sexual abuse victims will come forward in greater numbers, and so the position may change".
These sex abuse cases have consequences that go beyond embarrassment for the institutions involved. Child abuse often has life changing consequences for the victims and this is not always appreciated. The Church has to face up to the damage caused, and accept the inevitable criminal and civil legal processes.
It's interesting to note that the Methodist Church & Church of England are currently in consultation as to Practice Guidance intended to support the work of Safeguarding Advisers. The consultation period is due to end on 31st July 2014. For those people who have suffered sexual abuse this will undoubtedly be seen as "too little, too late".
What we are seeing in the media is today’s news but the harsh reality is that legal action against these institutions long precedes allegations made against celebrity names such as Savile, Hall, Clifford & Harris.
Slater and Gordon Lawyer Richard Scorer, who is Head of the Abuse Team, has many years of experience litigating sexual abuse claims against the Church. Richard said, "Whilst the Church has woken up to some of its problems, many of the underlying dynamics which gave rise to the abuse crisis remain in place. Those dynamics will only change if the Church remains under the spotlight".
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation for victims of physical or sexual abuse. Please call freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help. Our UK contact centre is open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
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