News roundup: June 2021

30 June 2021, Thirtyone:eight

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

Lockdowns have hindered safeguarding in churches, research suggests

Research carried out by Thirtyone:eight and the University of Chester found that more than two-thirds of people involved in safeguarding said that their ability to carry out their job had been affected by the repeated lockdowns.

Sixty-nine per cent of the 199 participants said that Covid-19 had made an impact on safeguarding in their organisation, and 70 per cent reported that it had made an impact, or changed how they conducted their safeguarding duties.

Head of leading Christian charity, Ben Cooley, sacked after serious allegations over behaviour

Steve Ball, joint-CEO (Operations) at Thirtyone:eight spoke to Premier about the need for healthy cultures and whistleblowing processes after Ben Cooley, chief executive of the Christian charity Hope for Justice, stepped down following an investigation into allegations about his behaviour.

Duchess of Cambridge launches 'landmark' centre for childhood

The Duchess of Cambridge has launched her own Centre for Early Childhood, to raise awareness of the importance of early years and help "transform lives". A royal aide said Catherine felt early childhood was the "social equivalent to climate change" but it was not discussed "with the same seriousness".

Kensington Palace described the centre as "a landmark step" in her work and the duchess said she wanted to "create a happier, more mentally healthy, more nurturing society".

New tool for under-18s to report nude photos of themselves online

The head of the Internet Watch Foundation, Susie Hargreaves, said the tool was a "world-first" and "will give young people the power, and the confidence, to reclaim these images and make sure they do not fall into the wrong hands online."

The service - from the IWF and Childline - aims to help children who have been groomed, or whose partners have posted photos of them online.

Child victims of sexual abuse ‘often accused of lying to police’

Child sex abuse victims and survivors are often accused of lying when trying to report the abuse to police, according to a report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in England and Wales.

The inquiry’s team spoke to 56 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 21, and only “a small number” stated that they were satisfied with the police process.

Adult social care services face a ‘deluge’ of requests for support

Adult social care services are facing a “deluge” of requests for support from vulnerable and older people as society starts to open up after the pandemic, according to council care chiefs in England.

There has been a big increase in people needing help after their condition deteriorated while waiting to be admitted to the hospital for treatment, as well as a surge in those needing support after being discharged from the hospital.

New Bishop of Birkenhead welcomed by survivors of abuse as one 'who recognises that corruption in the Church needs to be faced'

The next Bishop of Birkenhead, Venerable Archdeacon Julie Conalty, current Archdeacon of Tonbridge, has spoken of the strong sense of calling for the role because of its emphasis on victims and survivors of abuse. 

Archdeacon Julie said: "What Chester has asked for is bishops who keep survivors central to their safeguarding work, the lost central to their mission work, and Christ central to all that they are."

RC Church updates canon law to define sexual abuse as a crime against human dignity

Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly criminalise the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority and to say that laypeople who hold church office can be sanctioned for similar sex crimes.

The revision, which has been in the works since 2009, involves all of section six of the church’s Code of Canon Law, a seven-book code of about 1,750 articles. It replaced the code approved by Pope John Paul II in 1983 and will take effect on December 8th.

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