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BASW: Moves must be made to reassure survivors following resignation of IICSA Chair

As Justice Lowell Goddard announces her resignation as Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), the UK Chair of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) said that moves must be made to reassure survivors of abuse that their testimonies will be safeguarded.

BASW Chair Guy Shennan said: “The inquiry has been beset by difficulties in finding an appropriate Chair. This latest development is regrettable but offers an opportunity to reshape the inquiry. We support survivors groups in their calls for the inquiry to continue without delay in the absence of a Chair.

“It must be very distressing news for the survivors who have already had to relive the trauma of childhood sexual abuse in giving testimony to the inquiry. Moves must now be made to reassure people that their evidence will be taken seriously and properly safeguarded.

“Social workers are committed to helping people to overcome trauma and to fighting injustice. The story of what has happened to these children and how this has affected their adult lives needs to be heard; it is a real social justice issue for the UK.

“Survivors groups need to be given equal status by being given representation on the lead panel and granted core participant status across the inquiry. We are calling on the Home Office to find an inquiry Chair who is prepared to stand up to the establishment to get to the truth. This person needs to be truly independent and of QC status at the very least.”