Abuse survivors have vital role in protecting children (04.04.14)

Islington Tribune – Letters, 4th April 2014

Jimmy Savile’s crimes against children are now being investigated far and wide across the country by many different police teams.

If ever there was a case for a national police investigation team it must be in this instance to coordinate all the inquiries. Yet, Michael Gove has asked Islington to conduct its own investigation and it is now firmly the responsibility of this authority (Children’s home linked to Savile investigation, March 28).

Historic child abuse cases are not simple to investigate and Islington has not got the best of reputations for retention of children’s and adults’ files and relevant documentation.

I would be pleased to provide the investigators with some assistance. Since 1990, as a former Islington social worker who exposed the child abuse scandal, I have gathered a great deal of knowledge about the infiltration of Islington children’s homes by child sex abusers.

I am a registered social worker, bound by professional codes of conduct and have worked with and trained child protection police and social workers for many years.

Few Islington care leavers and survivors have come forward since the 1990s and there has never been an Islington survivors’ group.

Some are now approaching me via social media websites. I listen to their accounts and try to help them as best I can. There needs to be a clear contact point within the Local Safeguarding Children Board for survivors, and those who are assisting them, to report historic abuse and to trigger police investigation.

This contact point has to be trusted. How this can be achieved I do not know but I am willing to help to find a way forward as the care leavers need to have a voice and to find justice wherever it can be found so long after the event.

Of course, some perpetrators, unlike Savile, are still alive, and survivors of historic abuse, by coming forward, have a crucial role in helping authorities to protect children currently at risk.

DR LIZ DAVIES
Reader in Child Protection
London Metropolitan University
Holloway Road, N7

Original article on Islington Tribune website

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2 comments
  1. Peter McKelvie said:

    Liz Davies must be called on by Islington if there is any chance of survivors from the 80’s and & 90’s coming forward. No-one else will have either the credibility nor the inside information that would ensure a thorough investigation determined to get to the truth.
    Liz would also work closely with NAPAC who should always be involved from the outset in historical cases like Islington.

    I am again very disappointed but not in the least bit surprised that when the name of Savile crops up the Government orders yet another inquiry.
    It gives them public support and gives the illusion that they are taking historical abuse seriously.
    The Government know only too well that no amount of new information on a dead man will lead to a prosecution and months of press coverage during a trial.

    Getting local authorities to investigate their own past will automatically ensure a very limited exercise, where their reputation and insurers needs will be their paramount priority.

    Nothing will suffice other than, in the case of Islington, the creation of a new Police team similar to Operation Fernbridge to investigate abuse by multiple perpetrators in every one of their children’s homes and the corresponding attempts of senior management in collusion with prominent councillors to bury the allegations, and, in the case of similar abuse in hundreds of children’s homes and residential boarding schools involving thousands of victims right across the UK, the setting up of either an Independant Inquiry similar to the Hillsborough model or a Royal Commission.

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