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Sophie Cameron

Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

Government announces the establishment of a child sexual abuse redress scheme

Government announces the establishment of a child sexual abuse redress scheme


A consultation has also been launched on the mandatory reporting requirement

The Home Office announced on 22 May that a new redress scheme will be launched for the survivors of child sexual abuse in England. According to the press release, the government will consult with victims, survivors and charities during the development of the redress scheme to ensure that it is fit for purpose and provides the necessary support to those affected.

The new redress scheme will be set up in light of the findings and evidence provided to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), which was chaired by Professor Alexis Jay, and examined over a seven-year period the widespread failings in both state and non-state institutions to properly safeguard and protect children in England and Wales. The new redress scheme will include an acknowledgement of the institutional failures that allowed children to suffer such crimes.

Alongside the redress scheme, the Home Office has also launched a consultation on how a legal duty to report child sexual abuse would affect children, organisations, workplaces and volunteers. The introduction of a mandatory reporting requirement on child sexual abuse in England follows the recommendation by the IICSA that the government make it a legal requirement for certain people to report child sexual abuse when: they’re told about it by a child or perpetrator; they witness it happening; or they observe recognised indicators of child sexual abuse. The consultation is open for feedback until 14 August 2023.

Commenting on the new redress scheme, Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “Thousands of brave victims and survivors came forward to give evidence to the Independent Inquiry, sharing heart-breaking details of how they were ignored by the people who should have protected them. While nothing will make up for how badly they were let down, or the abuse that they suffered, we must make sure that victims and survivors get the support they need and redress they deserve. We will stop at nothing to stamp out these vile crimes, punish the perpetrators, and make sure every child across the country can grow up in a safe environment.”