The Inquiry into historical sex abuse in the UK has finally got underway headed by New Zealander Justice Lowell-Goddard.
The inquiry is examining how public bodies handled abuse claims over the course of the last 30 years and it is expected to be wide ranging but also controversial. It has taken more than 12 months for the Inquiry to commence following a series of inappropriate appointments. Remarkably the Inquiry is set to last 5 years with final conclusions unlikely before 2020. The costs to the public purse is estimated at £10 million with Judge Goddard herself claiming an annual salary of £360,000.
One very positive initiative announced already by the Inquiry panel is the introduction of a new Helpline for survivors of abuse. This helpline has been set up to allow anyone who was sexually abused in an institutional setting, such as a school, care home, hospital or religious organisation to give evidence and have their story heard. Allegations that could lead to criminal proceedings are also being passed to officers on Operation Hydrant who will forward information to the relevant local police force.
If you have been affected by sexual abuse involving a public body you can contact the Inquiry team by dialling: 0800 917 1000