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Church of England abuse victim helpline set up

An independent helpline has been set up for those abused by clergy in the Church of England.

The line (0800 80 20 20) will be run by the NSPCC and can be used to provide information or raise concerns about potential abuse, whether relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.

Guidance has been published for the Church's second Past Cases Review (PCR2), which looks into how previous claims have been handled.

A report into the original review into past cases of abuse (PCR) in 2007-2009 found that there had been short fallings in the process and final result, particularly in implementing the recommendations in 7 dioceses.

 

 

In 2015 concerns were expressed to the newly appointed National Safeguarding Adviser about how well the PCR had been conducted. Consequently, in consultation with the National Safeguarding Steering Group, he commissioned an independent assessment of the adequacy of the PCR.

This new review must be completed by 2020 and will include documents that were not found at the previous review.

The objectives state that: "Any file that could contain information regarding a concern, allegation or conviction in relation to abusive behaviour by a living member of the clergy or church officer, (whether still in that position or not) will have been identified, read and analysed by independent safeguarding professionals."

Bishop Mark Sowerby, chair of the PCR2 Management Board said: "It is the aspiration of the Archbishops' Council that by the end of the PCR2 process, independent review work will have been carried out in every diocese and church institution within both the letter and the spirit of the protocol and practice guidance.

"PCR2 is a central part of the church's proactive approach to identifying where abuse allegations have not been managed appropriately or safely

"We are committed to responding well to all survivors of abuse and I pray that the PCR2 is another step to making the Church a safer place for all."

 

Click here to listen to abuse survivor Matt Ineson speaking about the helpline and the new past cases review:

 

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