Survive asks Rishi Sunak to take immediate steps to guarantee support to survivors
It has taken seven long years for a report by Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) to publish its final findings into decades of institutional failures to protect children in their care from sexual abuse. Its publication last week and its recommendations were overshadowed by media coverage of the resident of number 10 Downing Street and Rishi Sunak’s eventual appointment as Prime Minister.
“As a charity focused on supporting survivors of sexual violence in York and North Yorkshire – including the new Prime Minister’s constituency, we are asking him to act now, show leadership and commit to delivering the 20 recommendations in the IICSA report to protect future generations of children from sexual abuse,” says Mags Godderidge, CEO of Survive, which provides specialist trauma-informed counselling to survivors of sexual violence.
“Many of the report’s recommendation are within Prime Minister Sunak’s gift and we would ask that he gives this report and its findings the attention it deserves. He is facing really difficult decisions, however making decisions around the implementation of the IICSA report recommendations should be one of the easiest. We call on him and all members of his Cabinet to learn the lessons of the past that led to childhoods being turned into living nightmares – nightmares that some survivors still experience to this day.”
The 20 report recommendations include the creation of Child Protection Authorities in England and Wales, a Cabinet Minister for Children as well as a national scheme to compensate victims and survivors and guaranteed access to specialist, therapeutic support.
In identifying what went wrong and why across a wide range of institutions, the independent inquiry team hope that institutions will change and make improvements in how they protect children and prevent these failures happening again in the future. The report also highlighted the long-term and sometimes life-long impact of child sexual abuse on an individual’s physical health, mental health and interpersonal relationships.
Says Mags, ‘At Survive, we know that it can take survivors years if not decades to tell someone about what happened to them. We also know that with the right therapeutic support, survivors can rebuild their lives, relationships and reach their potential.’