A report on the Church of England by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA) has been welcomed by the Diocese of Leeds, which had already begun to expand its support for survivors.
The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines said:
“This report shines a light on historic failings and shameful behaviour. I am deeply sorry for the hurt and damage caused to survivors and victims. As we seek to learn from the report, we do so with the wellbeing of abuse survivors foremost in our minds”
“We have always taken safeguarding seriously in the Diocese of Leeds and, this year, we have increased significantly our ability to support survivors, their families and all affected by such awful crimes.
“The national Church has pledged to learn from the IICSA report and will respond fully to its findings.
“We share that commitment and are striving to do better,” Bishop Nick said.
The Leeds Diocesan Safeguarding Team has been restructured recently and now consists of a Safeguarding Team Leader/ Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA), two Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers, with the addition of a new Assistant Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and a dedicated Safeguarding Trainer appointed within the last two months.
The DSAs inform and guide Safeguarding Core Groups of clergy and laity convened to scrutinise any reported case of abuse, which are considered in close detail and with due respect.
Guidance on subsequent actions comes directly from the DSAs and is adhered to in all circumstances in conjunction with public authorities.
The Diocese is also working hard on the Church of England’s current Past Cases Review 2 – an ongoing process which re-examines potential cases of historic sexual abuse.
Anyone who wishes to come forward with information or make a disclosure regarding church-related abuse is encouraged to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team here
A national statement in response to the IICSA report by the Church of England’s Lead Safeguarding Bishop, The Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield and Melissa Caslake, the Church’s National Director of Safeguarding can be read here.