Historical child abuse survivors asked to shape inquiry

Historical child abuse survivors asked to shape inquiry

Survivors of historical abuse in care or in institutions in Scotland are being asked to help shape the recently announced Inquiry into historical abuse at events in Edinburgh in the coming weeks.

Additional meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow are being arranged by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) and will give more people the opportunity to have a say in the remit of the Inquiry and what skills they would want in a chairperson or panel, as well as considering other commitments the Scottish government has made to support survivors of abuse.

Education minister Angela Constance (pictured) pledged that survivors of abuse would have the chance to feed into the process before the scope of the inquiry and the appointments of a chair or panel were confirmed when she announced there would be a statutory inquiry into historical child abuse in institutional care.

These meetings, next Tuesday and Thursday in Glasgow, will not be open to the public.

Meetings have already been held in Perth, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Ms Constance said: “The initial feedback from those who have been able to attend the meetings has already been very helpful and the Inquiry team are receiving information by phone and in writing from across Scotland and beyond.

“I greatly appreciate that survivors of abuse have taken the time to share very personal and painful memories and experiences to help us set the right terms for this Inquiry.

“This parliament must always be on the side of victims of abuse and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to come forward and put their views on the record.

“I would really encourage anyone who has a view about how we can ensure that victim’s voices are heard to take a look at the webpages, call for more information or try to come to a meeting if they are able.”

Helen Holland, survivor and Chair of In Care Abuse Survivors (INCAS), said: “The Inquiry could provide the answers as to why this abuse was allowed to happen and how we will ensure we safeguard children today.

“It is important that providers take responsibility and accountability is explored through this process.

“I would encourage survivors to take part and to have their voices heard in a safe and protected environment.”

The Inquiry will be statutory under the Inquiries (Scotland) Act 2005 and will have the power to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence, if needed.

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