Home Secretary Amber Rudd has assured abuse survivors that the inquiry into how UK institutions handle their duty of care will not be delayed by the recent resignation of the committee’s chairwoman.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) was set up in July 2014 by British Prime Minister Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. The IICSA is looking into 13 claims of historical child abuse involving institutional cover-ups. Amongst the cases are claims against both the Anglican and Catholic Church.
The IICSA is expected to examine specific case studies from within the Catholic Church; largely focusing upon the English Benedictine Congregation which has had a high number of allegations of child sexual abuse reported.
The current Child Protection Policy of the Catholic Church will be scrutinised as part of the investigation. The Catholic Church in England and Wales has formed a council in order to aid in the inquiry, insisting that the Church is “committed to the safeguarding of all children”.
Amber Rudd thanked Dame Lowell Goddard – who resigned in a letter at the start of this week – for her hard work and contribution. She went on to add: “I want to assure everyone with an interest in the inquiry, particularly victims and survivors, that the work of the inquiry will continue without delay”.
New Zealand-born Justice Goddard is the third chairwoman of the IICSA to resign since the inquiry began. Her letter of resignation came on the same day that The Times newspaper reported that she had spent 70 days in the last year working from abroad.