News roundup: September 2020

01 October 2020, Thirtyone:eight

Here are our top safeguarding stories from September 2020. To access or view the full articles click on the link embedded in the title:

News headlines:

Church of England failures 'allowed child sexual abusers to hide'

The Church of England failed to protect children from sexual abuse, and created a culture where abusers "could hide", a report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse concluded. IICSA’s report says the Church's failure to respond consistently to abuse victims added to their trauma. It also said that alleged perpetrators were often given more support than victims. The Church said it felt "shame" over the failings detailed in the "shocking" report.

Vulnerable children will 'slip out of view', commissioner warns

Vulnerable children who require urgent support will "slip out of view" because of the impact of coronavirus, England's children's commissioner has warned. Anne Longfield called for central investment in youth work to help handle problems exacerbated by lockdown. With children having returned to schools across England teachers will begin to identify children who are at risk, leading to an expected increase in referrals to social services, the commissioner told the BBC.

More than 50 women in DRC allege abuse by Ebola aid workers

More than 50 women have accused aid workers from the World Health Organization and leading NGOs of sexual exploitation and abuse during efforts to fight Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In interviews, 51 women – many of whose accounts were backed up by aid agency drivers and local NGO workers – recounted multiple incidents of abuse, mainly by men who said they were international workers, during the 2018 to 2020 Ebola crisis, according to an investigation by the New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Church clears Oxford college dean over alleged safeguarding failures

The Church of England has exonerated the head of a prestigious Oxford college after investigating claims that he failed to deal properly with sexual abuse allegations. Martyn Percy, the dean of Christ Church and head of its cathedral, had “acted entirely appropriately” in each of four cases referred earlier this year to the C of E’s national safeguarding team (NST) by the college’s governing body. One of Mr Percy’s supporters described the college’s reporting of the dean to the NST as part of a “black ops campaign” to discredit him.

Muckamore Abbey Hospital: Public inquiry to be held into alleged abuse

A public inquiry will be held into alleged abuse of patients by staff at Muckamore Abbey Hospital, Northern Ireland's health minister, Robin Swann, has said. Mr Swann has pledged to bring forward a new Adult Safeguarding Bill for Northern Ireland, to help protect care home residents and other vulnerable members of society. A raft of allegations of physical abuse and mental cruelty to patients at the County Antrim facility, which began to emerge in 2017, are being investigated by police.

Amy Tinkler has 'no confidence' in British Gymnastics' integrity unit's 'ability to be honest'

Olympic medallist Amy Tinkler says she has "no confidence" in British Gymnastics' integrity unit's "ability to be honest and moral". Tinkler, 20, says she has not received an explanation as to why her formal complaint was dismissed last month. Tinkler was Great Britain's youngest medallist at Rio 2016 when she won bronze aged 16. In July, British Gymnastics announced an independent review would take place.

Charlie Elphicke: Ex-MP jailed for sex assaults on women

Ex-Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been jailed for two years for sexually assaulting two women. Mr Elphicke, 49, the former MP for Dover, was convicted of groping the women in similar situations, nine years apart. He denied the charges, but was found guilty of one count of sexual assault in 2007 and two further counts in 2016, after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

The problem with pedestals

Heather Tomlinson of Premier responds to the uncovering of toxic behaviour by some of the Church’s biggest names with a discussion on how celebrity culture- and the idolising of people we have never met- is dysfunctional.


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