The IICSA has issued the promised update, although this is not the outcome of Prof Jay’s internal review.
In the foreword to the update Prof Jay has noted the purpose of the Inquiry is two-fold – a responsibility to understand the failings of the past and hold those responsible to account; and a focus on the future making recommendations to ensure children are better protected from abuse.
The update has a very positive emphasis, no doubt intended to try and focus on its work and not the negative publicity of the last few months. It notes an intention to make swift and significant progress.
As noted in our last blog, the focus on the experiences of victims and survivors is central, or as the update says the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse are at its heart.
The shift to a thematic approach is reiterated as is the split in to the three projects although it is emphasised they do not stand alone as separate strands of work. The outcome of the three projects will be to enable the Inquiry to make far-reaching recommendations for change and to capture the scale of child sexual abuse across England and Wales so that the recommendations “address the entrenched issues that have impeded reforms or allowed child sexual abuse to continue.”
In terms of numbers the figures stated include:
- 400 people invited to Truth Project private sessions
- 250 formal requests from over 120 different institutions
- 75,000 documents amounting to approx. 750,000 pages of material have been procured
- 200+ core participant status applications granted in 7 investigations
- 183 people working on the Inquiry
And in terms of dates for progress:
- the first Seminar will be on 29-30 November
- the first public hearing will be in February 2017
- the roll out of private sessions of the Truth Project throughout England and Wales will be effected by March 2017
In a recent move started last week in Cardiff greater information has been provided about the Research Project. Details are re-iterated of the research projects already announced. The research will cover wide subjects including behaviour and characteristics of perpetrators of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation; characteristics and vulnerabilities of victims of online-facilitated child sexual abuse and exploitation; and social and political discourses about child sexual abuse.
This update makes it clear that the Inquiry is committed to looking forward and achieving the aims set in its wide ranging terms of reference.
Paula Jefferson, Partner