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BASW: IICSA can only succeed if it takes lead from survivors

Following today’s announcement of the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association’s withdrawal from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), BASW has reiterated its support for survivors of child sexual abuse and says IICSA must win the trust of survivors if it is to succeed. BASW is already a committed supporter of the Whiteflowers campaign group.

In a joint statement, BASW UK Chair Guy Shennan and Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen said: “We are concerned to hear of further problems within the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and of a loss of confidence from many survivors in the process and leadership as exemplified by the withdrawal from the inquiry of the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association which represents 600 people.

“Our view is that this inquiry can only be successful if it both takes its lead from and maintains the trust of people who are survivors of the abuse it was set up to investigate. The inquiry has still not heard evidence from survivors almost two years since being established and the frustration and loss of support of survivors is understandable and saddening.

“As the professional association for social workers across the UK, we are committed to transparency and professional accountability. This includes welcoming efforts to uncover the role some professionals, including social workers, may have played in causing or failing to prevent abuse and learning from this to reduce future risks to children and other vulnerable people. We sincerely hope the inquiry can get back on track to produce the findings, analysis and justice survivors have been demanding for many years and which we need to try to prevent institutional and individual abuses in the future.”