News roundup: July 2021

30 July 2021, Thirtyone:eight

Here are our top safeguarding stories from July 2021. To access or view the full articles click on the link embedded in the title:

Church is entering a season of action on safeguarding, says Gibbs

The Church would continue to “apologise and learn from its failings over safeguarding,” the Bishop of Huddersfield and lead bishop for safeguarding, Dr Jonathan Gibbs said on Saturday. But he promised the General Synod that it is now entering “a season of action”.

Dr Gibbs presented an update to the Synod of the work being undertaken by the National Safeguarding Team (NST), including policy development and the membership of the new Independent Safeguarding Panel, the national case-management system, and the newly created annual Safeguarding Sunday (this year on 10 October).

Two thirds of churches in UK plan to keep streaming online, says survey

According to the faith insurance group Ecclesiastical and The Bible Society, 93 per cent of churches have used new ways to keep in touch with their congregation and over two in five churches (43 per cent) saw an increase in attendance as a result. 

Church’s safeguarding blunders could cause more deaths, coroner warns

A coroner who investigated the death of a priest who took his own life over unfounded allegations of child sex abuse raised by the diocese of London has warned the Archbishop of Canterbury that more clergy deaths will follow unless action is taken to improve C of E safeguarding procedures.

She also reported that she received submissions from the C of E urging her not to include “concerns that may be taken as a criticism of clerics or staff for not filtering or verifying allegations”, and wrote of “the breadth of the systemic and individual failings that have come to light during the course of this inquest”.

Campaign calls for end to use of NDAs in keeping Christians from sharing abuse stories

A campaign has launched calling for an end to non-disclosure agreements used by churches and Christian organisations. A non-disclosure agreement is a legal contract to keep the information a secret. 

#NDAfree has been set up to object to NDAs that have been misused to conceal abuse and preserve secrets. Organisers hope that the campaign will persuade Christian organisations to ditch them altogether.

Culture of cover-up saw hundreds of children abused in Lambeth, report finds

Staff and councillors presided over a "culture of cover-up" that led to more than 700 children in south London care homes suffering cruelty and sexual abuse, an inquiry has found. The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse strongly criticised Lambeth Council for allowing abuse in five homes from the 1960s to the 1990s.

It said abusers were able to infiltrate homes and the foster system. Lambeth Council has made an unreserved apology to the victims.

Bradford child sex abuse: Children 'remain unprotected'

Some children in Bradford "remain unprotected" from sex exploitation, a new report looking into abuse over two decades has said. The independent review of five cases in the Bradford district since 2001 has found that "children suffered abuse no child should have to experience".

Victim Fiona Goddard said the council and police had chances to "nip it in the bud" but "never did". The Bradford Partnership said it "fully accepts more needs to be done".

Violence against women: Top police role to be announced

A top police officer will be put in charge of tackling violence against women and girls in England and Wales, the home secretary has announced.

The creation of the role was recommended in a report after 33-year-old Sarah Everard was murdered in March. Her death sparked a public debate about women's safety. The new national policing lead is part of a broader strategy to deliver "lasting change", Priti Patel said.

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