In response to the report linked in the preceding article, the following press release has been issued:
SURVIVORS RESPONSE TO CHURCH ABUSE REPORT
Sent on behalf of MACSAS* and a number of survivors of abuse in a church context
Thursday 4th April 2019
Today’s report from the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) illustrates the Church of England’s comprehensive failure in the treatment of victims of its own abuse. The church’s leaders should now be putting their hands up to their collective and individual failure to respond authentically and honestly to survivors.
SCIE’s independent research indicates that less than one in five people who reported abuse in the church say that they received a satisfactory response, and more than half never received any meaningful response at all. [2.1.1] The report also speaks of the church’s failure to understand the lifelong impact of abuse, and its failure to keep the victim at the centre of its response. [8.1.2]
Those of us whose lives have been devastated by clergy abuse know this from long and bitter experience. We are victimized first by our abusers, and again by the church’s “defensive responses” to criticism of its failings.
For many years the Church of England has responded to the crisis of clergy abuse by saying “You can trust us. We’ve got this in hand.” The SCIE report confirms what we have known all along – that the church can no longer be trusted to manage disclosures of abuse. We repeat our call that this work should be handed over to a fully independent body. The church’s General Synod must be allowed proper time to debate these findings – preferably at an Extraordinary Meeting at which survivors can contribute their expertise, as recommended by the report.
The full report can be found at http://tinyurl.com/yyfqxvlj
The Church of England’s response can be found at http://tinyurl.com/y425ykd4
*MACSAS (Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors) www.macsas.org.uk
For more information contact Andrew Graystone