Client works with MP to question Prime Minister on child abuse

Switalskis client Rev Matt Ineson, who suffered child sex abuse by a Bradford vicar in the 1980s, has worked with his MP Tracy Brabin to ask a question at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday 28 November 2018.

Matt has campaigned alongside Switalskis Solicitor David Greenwood to raise standards of safeguarding in the Church of England and other institutions. They both worked on the question with Ms Brabin.

Matt, David and Tracy are keen to support the introduction of mandatory reporting of allegations of child sex abuse to the police or council. Incredibly a law on this does not presently exist. They support the proposals put forward by the campaign group www.mandatenow.org.

Listen to Tracy’s superb question, together with Prime Minister Theresa May’s answer, here: https://audioboom.com/posts/7101031-pmq-s-28-11-18-tracy-brabin-mp-will-the-pm-commit-to-introduce-mr-across-all-institutions-inc

Or you can read the exchange below:

Tracy Brabin MP: “My constituent, Matthew, is one of those very brave people who have waived their anonymity around the abuse they have suffered at the hands of a member of the Church of England. The Prime Minister will be very aware of the harrowing evidence coming out of the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, which could have been prevented if a law on mandatory reporting had been in place. International evidence shows that mandatory reporting doubles the number of children placed into safety when introduced. Will the prime minister commit to protect children and introduce mandatory reporting across all institutions, including the Church of England?”

Prime Minister Theresa May: “Can I first of all say how sorry I am to hear of the case of her constituent Matthew and the abuse that he suffered. Sadly, what we have seen coming out of this independent inquiry is too much abuse that was allowed to carry on for too long and too many people suffered as a result. And it isn’t just the case that they suffered at the time that the abuse was taking place, that suffering remains with them to this day and I think we should all recognise that.

“Now she has raised the issue of mandatory reporting. We did look at this very carefully – indeed, when I was Home Secretary we looked at this very carefully. Actually, there is mixed evidence as to the impact that mandatory reporting has, and there is some evidence that it can actually lead to the genuine cases not being given the resources that they require. But I say to the honourable lady, I don’t want her to be in any doubt as to the seriousness with which I and this government take this issue. We are repairing – doing our best to repair – I won’t claim that we can fully repair, but we are doing our best to repair by giving some sense of justice to those people who suffered at the hands of too many institutions, including institutions of the state, for too long.”

If you have been affected by child sexual abuse or neglect and would like confidential advice, please call 0800 138 4700 or send us a message using the contact form below.