Issues Raised In Newly-Released Document ‘Must Never Be Repeated’
By Rob Dixon
Lawyers representing victims of child abuse have warned that serious lessons must be learned following the release of a report confirming the findings of an inquiry into ‘extensive’ physical and sexual abuse at children’s homes in North Wales over a 20-year period.
The Jillings report, originally commissioned in 1994 to consider allegations of abuse against young people in residential homes in the 1970s and 1980s, has been published following a Freedom of Information request by the BBC.
Among the various concerns raised by the heavily redacted documents was the revelation that there was a high level of abuse across a number of years, with responses to reports of children being abused described as ‘too little and too late’.
It also found that five men working at the Bryn Estyn home in Wrexham were convicted of offences involving 20 boys and five girls.
Irwin Mitchell’s specialist lawyers act for vulnerable people of all ages who have suffered severe psychological and physical trauma as a result of abuse in residential homes, including those who faced such ordeals at a young age.
Luke Daniels, a Partner and expert in child abuse cases at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office, said: “The revelations included in this report are utterly shocking and truly unacceptable, as is the worrying fact that this document highlighting the extent of the problems in North Wales has only been published following an FoI request and with numerous parts of it heavily redacted.
“We can only hope that in the coming months authorities will have the sense to reconsider the latter issue and ensure that all of the information included in this report is available to the public.
“However, what has been published still makes clear the deep physical and psychological scars that abuse can leave on victims and if any good is to come of this report’s release, it is that important steps are taken to ensure the same shocking issues are never repeated again.”
Luke added: “As recent months have shown, a huge number of people are affected by abuse yet it often takes great strength to discuss it – as well as to come forward and ensure perpetrators are properly held to account.
“The recent issues seen with Savile and other cases have suggested that times are changing and people are feeling more able than ever to speak out. This is hugely positive and has to continue.
“A key aspect of this is ensuring that all allegations of abuse are properly investigated and steps taken, where possible, to prevent problems from ever occurring.”
Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in relation to Child Abuse claims