IICSA announces publication date for report into Ampleforth and Downside (English Benedictine Congregation case study)

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will publish the investigation report on the Ampleforth and Downside hearings held last November and December at 12pm on Thursday 9 August 2018.

Ampleforth Abbey and School and Downside Abbey and School were considered as part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, which is part of the Roman Catholic Church investigation. The public hearings considered the nature and extent of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the English Benedictine Congregation, and any failures by them or the Roman Catholic Church to protect children from sexual abuse. The hearings also examined the adequacy of the response by the Church and other authorities, into allegations of child sexual abuse by individuals associated with the Congregation.  How these allegations were acted upon by the Church and what criminal or civil proceedings resulted from these allegations.


IICSA Truth Project: Former boarders speak out…

Inquiry publishes 50 accounts of child sexual abuse shared with the Truth Project

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has today published fifty accounts of child sexual abuse and institutional failure. The experiences were shared with the Inquiry’s Truth Project and illustrate a catalogue of failures from organisations including sports clubs, boarding schools, GP surgeries and the World War Two evacuation scheme.

Chair, Professor Alexis Jay said: “Reading these accounts, I was struck by both the vulnerability and strength of victims and survivors. Often, they describe how organisations and people they trusted turned away when they needed their help the most. Many who come forward to the Truth Project say they want their experiences to be used to help protect others. I want to reassure them that their information is central to the Inquiry’s success. ”

A victim and survivor who took part in the Truth Project said: “It wasn’t easy sharing my story but the kind, empathic staff at the Truth Project supported me through it.  I was listened to, believed and understood. I was given a voice and that is so very valuable. For the first time I feel truly hopeful that things might change for the better and maybe the suffering will stop. Thank you.”

The publication can be viewed online or downloaded from our website via this link: https://www.iicsa.org.uk/news/inquiry-publishes-50-accounts-child-sexual-abuse-shared-truth-project

Rochdale residential school abuse: Richard Farnell abuse denial ‘defies belief’

A former council leader’s claim he was unaware of child sex abuse in Rochdale “defies belief”, a report has found.

An independent inquiry said it was “shameful” that Richard Farnell “refused to accept responsibility for young lives blighted” in the town.

More than 40 men claimed they were abused at Cambridge House hostel, Knowl View school between the early 1960s and mid-1990s.

The report said Mr Farnell “lied to the inquiry during his evidence”.

Pupils at Knowl View were also sexually exploited in the town centre, the bus station and at public toilets across the road from the borough council’s offices over a 20-year period.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) report found “valuable opportunities were lost” in 1998 and 1999 to charge and prosecute the late Liberal MP Cyril Smith, who was accused of carrying out abuse in the town.

There was a misguided “unwillingness to consider that someone in a position of public prominence might be capable of perpetrating sexual abuse”, the report, which was published on Thursday, said.

BBC News

IICSA: The Truth Project

As we wrote in our last newsletter, we are supporting boarding school survivors who are engaging with the Inquiry and its Truth Project.

The Inquiry is currently examining Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, including the boarding schools: Ampleforth College and Downside School. For reports, please see our “Boarding News” section.

Survivors who have taken part in Truth Project hearings tell us that they were well supported by the Inquiry team before, on the day and with follow up contact from their dedicated support worker.

For some, it was that the Inquiry team actually bothered to ask them how we can help end the ongoing abuse of children in boarding schools.

IICSA: David Lowe case mentioned at hearing into Catholic Church boarding schools

David Lowe jailed for 10 years for abusing boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School
Ex-housemaster sentenced after taking advantage of youngsters as they slept in dormitory beds and during singing lessons at Catholic private school

A former housemaster at a prestigious Catholic private school has been jailed for 10 years for sexually abusing pupils.

David Lowe, 61, took advantage of boys as they slept in their dormitory beds and during singing lessons at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

Lowe invited the youngsters to his flat and “spanked” them when they had broken school rules.

He also crept into the vulnerable pupils’ dormitory and touched them intimately while carrying out night-time checks.

Many of his victims studied at the £16,000-a-year choir school, while others were abused at the Benedictine monk-run Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire.

The attacks, which took place between 1978 and 1984, were carried out on boys aged eight to 13.

Sentencing Lowe at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Judge Martin Beddoe told him: “All these boys were to some degree emotionally and physically vulnerable – some were more so than others.

“You took advantage of that and made it all the worse by what you did.

“What you did has remained more or less a secret for the best part of 35 years until now.

“But for the courage of all 10 complainants, in particular those most affected, a secret it would have remained.”

The Telegraph