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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Carlile Report and George Bell
Barnabas62
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Further information related to the police review of the Carol case.
From Annex H, to found in this link to Annexes

From which you find this rather startling exchange.

quote:
22.ACC then referred to paragraph 32 of the first meeting minutes. ACC asked what the group thought the police were doing with regards to this case. CP said that it took a very long time to obtain information from the police, and
they never received the full document they were waiting for. The police informed him that had the defendant been alive he would have been arrested. They also told him that if the Church wanted to bring this issue into the public
domain that the police would be unable to provide resources.
23. ACC pointed out that the police would have had no lawful power to arrest GB had he been alive, as the arrest conditions would not have been met. He would have been interviewed under caution instead. ACC asked if the core group felt that the police action would have been equivalent to being charged. CP and GW clearly stated that they did not. They knew that arrest and charged is not the same thing.
24.ACC asked what they thought would have happened had they not settled. CP stated that they were told by PJ that if they chose not to settle and this went to court then the judge would have ruled in favour of the complainant. This discussion with PJ was a decisive moment

Here is a link to the key participants referred to by initials in that discussion.

Colin Perkins [CP] - Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser for the Diocese of Chichester
Gemma Wodsworth (GW) - Independent Sexual and Domestic Violence Adviser to the
Diocese
Lord Carlile of Berriew [ACC]
Paula Jefferson (PJ) (not in attendance) - external solicitor advising but not a member of the group

Lord Carlile's assertion (and he is a very experienced lawyer) that the earlier police statement was wrong i.e there would have been insufficient grounds to arrest George Bell, rather than interview him under caution, has never been queried. Any arrest would have been unlawful.

The Lambeth "case" re George Bell and 'Carol' is no case at all.

[ 02. February 2018, 12:13: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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L'organist
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Agreed, Barnabas. But as I said, it is very, very clear that there is a concerted attempt by Lambeth, spearheaded by statements from Lambeth and the national safeguarding team, to ensure that GB's name, linked to the word "abuse", is kept in the public gaze, regardless of their words to the contrary.

One feels bound to ask if they make the (IMV) rather prissy statement "No interviews will be given" because they realise they can't justify this latest brouhaha? It smacks of desperation.

However, it does appear that one bishop, at least, has taken on-board what Carlile had to say in his Report: there is no statement at all from the current Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner.

[ 02. February 2018, 15:31: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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L'organist
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You know things are really bad when even The Daily Telegraph comes out with things like this
quote:
It is not the function of the criminal justice system to investigate, to no purpose, those who cannot be brought to book, nor the Church’s place to request that it should.
You can find the whole opinion piece here - registration is free.

Things have come to a pretty pass when the name of the current ABofC and the institution he heads is described as being reputationally damaged by the recent statements and actions. The write comes within a gnat's crochet of using the term witch-hunt - and, as ArchbishopCranmer has pointed out, it is beyond belief that this latest campaign had nothing to do with the George Bell Group's conference (held at Church House, Westminster) taking place yesterday.

(edited to correct coding madness)

[ 02. February 2018, 15:57: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Callan
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Originally posted by Barnabas62:

quote:
ACC pointed out that the police would have had no lawful power to arrest GB had he been alive, as the arrest conditions would not have been met. He would have been interviewed under caution instead. ACC asked if the core group felt that the police action would have been equivalent to being charged. CP and GW clearly stated that they did not. They knew that arrest and charged is not the same thing.
That's pretty damning.

That said, when the subject comes up, I usually point out that being arrested is no guarantee of guilt. My favourite example is an arrest perpetrated by some of my erstwhile colleagues. The targets were believed to be violent and so, to avoid unpleasantness, the door was kicked down and the premises flooded by hard-faced men with flack jackets and automatic weaponry. Needless to say everyone came quietly except one gentleman who, bless his heart, sobbed like a child. A cursory investigation, back at HQ, revealed that he was an insurance salesman who had been present for entirely reputable reasons and was entirely bewildered when he found that he had blundered into an armed raid on Very Bad People. Needless to say he was given a cup of tea and a profuse apology and sent on his way. So somewhere out there there is a blameless gentleman who has been arrested for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs. That doesn't make him Marlo Stansfield.

There's many a slip between arrest and conviction. But still, throwing someone under the bus over an interview under caution? Of course, you'd interview someone in those circumstances and the allegations are such that you'd do it under caution. But unless you've got something more substantial, you have got the square root of naff all.

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:

There's many a slip between arrest and conviction. But still, throwing someone under the bus over an interview under caution? Of course, you'd interview someone in those circumstances and the allegations are such that you'd do it under caution. But unless you've got something more substantial, you have got the square root of naff all.

This seems unanswerable as a matter of justice. The police could not fairly say he would have been arrested without a prior opportunity to respond in an interview. And of course he would have to be interviewed. But he was dead. They cannot, fairly, second guess such an interview.

So they were left with the square root of naff all. I can't for the life of me imagine why the police statement was drafted as it was. To complete the picture, here is an excerpt from the main report.

quote:
167. Had Bishop Bell still been alive, unless there was evidence that he appeared to represent a danger to the public he would not have satisfied the arrest conditions. I am surprised that the police did not appear to be aware of this. The probability is that, had he been alive, his premises and any computer would have been searched under a warrant, and he would have been interviewed under caution at a police station, not under arrest. This is of some significance because the Core Group may well have taken an exaggerated view of the use of the word ‘arrest’, as being in some way of itself evidence pointing towards guilt – which it is not.


[ 02. February 2018, 18:41: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by Tyler Durden:
Assuming you were addressing me, Albertus, if you re-read what I wrote, you'll see that the only person I referred to as a survivor was myself. So unless you're suggesting that you're not prepared to take my word for that without evidence (which I don't think you were!) then I'm unclear why you take issue with what I said. If I'd been referring to Carol, I'd have said 'alleged' survivor for legal reasons. But privately, I believe her because I know what it is to report abuse and not be believed and if I were her I'd be glad that ++Justin appears to be paying me the same courtesy.

Thank you for pointing this out and for making me re-read your post. I am very happy to recognise that you did not refer to 'Carol' as a survivor, and to say that if I had read your post more carefully I would have worded my response so that it could not be read to imply that you had. You also draw a valuable distinction between what one is free to believe as a private person, and what one is justified in accepting if one has to act in a public capacity.

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Tyler Durden
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
You also draw a valuable distinction between what one is free to believe as a private person, and what one is justified in accepting if one has to act in a public capacity.

Absolutely! And you appear to be the first person I've discussed this issue with on social media who's appreciated that distinction!
[Smile] [brick wall] [Axe murder]

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Martin60
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Awesome.

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Tyler Durden
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
You also draw a valuable distinction between what one is free to believe as a private person, and what one is justified in accepting if one has to act in a public capacity.

Absolutely! And you appear to be the first person I've discussed this issue with on social media who's appreciated that distinction!
[Smile] [brick wall] [Axe murder]

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Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower than you is a moron, while anyone driving faster is a maniac? Jerry Seinfeld

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Albertus
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Yes, some people just don't seem to get that, do they?(Tho' there are people on here who I'm sure do.) Glad to be on the same wavelength on that one!

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It would seem that the Archbishop of Canterbury still can't see sense and is pinning the issue of his own integrity to the mast.

This is a dangerous line for him to persist on, risking the counter-argument that if it is a simple case of "no smoke without fire" then perhaps the same rationale should be applied to his protestations of ignorance of events at Iwerne and its subsequent cover-up.

Perhaps the charitable approach to ++Justin's dilemma is that voiced by John Charmley in The Times but is it any better for the CofE to have an ABofC with intact integrity but questionable judgement?

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Barnabas62
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Safeguarding is scheduled for discussion at the General Synod tomorrow, I think.

I do not understand ++Justin's rejection of the Carlile recommendation re anonymity in the absence of arrest and charge.

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BroJames
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The question of anonymity for alleged abusers is, of course, wider than the issue of Bishop George Bell, and Lord Carlile's view on the issue predates his involvement in the Bishop Bell affair, and does not derive from his experience of this enquiry. The issue is hotly contested as a simple Google search reveals.

The same flaws in the original Core Group process which failed to find evidence for considering Bishop Bell to be guilty as alleged, also failed to turn up evidence which might have drawn an opposite conclusion and allow his name to be conclusively cleared. The most that can be said is that because of the failures of the Core Group process it was not justified in concluding that on the balance of probabilities Bishop Bell was guilty - but that is different from unequivocally declaring him to be innocent.

Innocent until proven guilty is an evidential presumption in English Law (amongst other systems), but it does not mean that a person acquitted at trial didn't commit the crime. It only means that when tried the burden lies wholly on the accuser to prove the defendant's guilt, defendants do not have to prove that they are innocent.

As I see it, then, ++Justin is caught in a cleft stick. In the debate about anonymity, the Church of England (along with others) disagrees with Lord Carlile. As far as the Bishop Bell case is concerned, he was clearly a man who did a great deal of good. He is also someone against whom this allegation has been made. Apart from apologising for a botched process which has neither substantiated nor dismissed the allegations, I can't see how he can say more.

[ 09. February 2018, 10:10: Message edited by: BroJames ]

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L'organist
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Its about timing and its about acceptance, as you say, of the presumption of innocence unless guilt has been proved. And in every statement from ++Justin he says that we have to keep in mind that these allegations have been made - which might (at a stretch) be considered fair if he applied the same rule-of-thumb to himself, but he doesn't.

There are serious questions and concerns about abuse that happened at, and through, the Iwerne "Bash" camps with which ++Justin had very close involvement - he was a trustee of the charity that ran them. Twice it has been shown that statements made by ++Justin about what or who he knew have not been correct, and there are more unanswered questions or unchallenged assertions that statements haven't been entirely accurate.

++Justin himself uses the word "integrity": IME it is a dangerous thing to seem to be wrapping onself in the cloak of righteousness if there is even the remotest chance that at some later stage it may be found you were not entirely deserving of such covering.

And not to see the danger in that - never mind the unfairness to the memory of Bell - shows judgement that could (should?) be questioned.

[ 09. February 2018, 10:17: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Barnabas62
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The moral argument re anonymity is conditional. For folks still alive, unless they have been arrested and charged, (as opposed to being interviewed as part of an investigation) why should their identity be revealed? It seems quite unfair that it should. (Indeed, Sir Cliff Richard was paid a massive sum of compensation by the police for their revealing of his identity. He was never arrested, never charged.)

So far as Bishop Bell is concerned, it is incontrovertible that there would have been insufficient grounds to arrest him on the basis of the accusation, but sufficient grounds to interview him, and carry out some searches, if he were still alive. I do not see how his death removes the same provision of anonymity. It presumes, years in the future, that he would not have been able to provide satisfactory answers.

[ 09. February 2018, 10:37: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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BroJames
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
There are serious questions and concerns about abuse that happened at, and through, the Iwerne "Bash" camps with which ++Justin had very close involvement - he was a trustee of the charity that ran them.

I'd not seen that ++Justin was a Iwerne trustee. It doesn't seem to have been mentioned in any of the reports I've seen.

AIUI he was involved as an 'officer' in the camps in the mid to late 70s. He said his involvement finished when he moved abroad in 1978. Apparently he continued to receive an Iwerne newsletter, and also came back once in 1979 to give a talk.

++Justin is described as being a friend of Mark Ruston who investigated the allegations in 1982. Mark Ruston was vicar of the Round Church in Cambridge, but he must have been practically old enough to have been Justin's father (Mark was a curate at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge in the mid 50s). It's hard to imagine him confiding the stuff he investigated in 1982 to someone who had lodged with him as a student three or four years previously - even if they had been good friends, and even if that person had also been involved as an officer at Iwerne.

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Eutychus
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hosting/

In my estimation, in recent posts this thread is fast moving towards Commandment 7 territory.

Do not post unsupported allegations of wrongdoing.

Whistleblowing is a worthy exercise, but the Ship's discussion boards are not the place to engage in it, still less potentially libellous speculation.

/hosting

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Eirenist
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If I may add my ha'porth, it seems to me that some are in danger of forgetting that those involved, along with the rest of us, were and are fallible human beings, and that a drop of charity all round would be in order.

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Barnabas62
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This sets the Carlile Report and George Bell in a wider context.

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
This sets the Carlile Report and George Bell in a wider context.

I think the problem, such as it is, is that we know that people/ organisations we approve of can turn out to be a bit sleazy (c.f. Oxfam and this mornings headlines about someone we all thought was one of the good guys) and we all know that people were inclined to brush things under the carpet, back in the day, that the whole rhetoric of "believe the survivor" becomes a thing.

Then of course, you get the whole phenomenon of "Nick" and of the late Lord Brittan having his deathbed vexed by a false allegation of child sex abuse and the business with Cliff Richard, und so weiter.

A confession, of sorts, a few years ago I applied for a job and was asked how I would respond in the case of an allegation of child sex abuse. I ran it past a retired headteacher and two child protection officials. Let's just say the original draft didn't survive the first telephone call. As I've said before, this is no job for amateurs. It's not wildly clear that the professionals are doing brilliantly either.

We are in terra incognita, we need a system that treats people like Tyler Durden with the respect they deserve whilst also respecting due process and the presumption of innocence. That is bogglingly difficult which is probably why we are in the state we are in. [Votive]

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Martin60
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Is safeguarding difficult? Is going forward, learning from all this, difficult? There is no point sitting in prison wondering how we got there when the doors are all open.

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L'organist
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The trouble is that much of the "evidence" that has informed/ is informing the approach to safeguarding comes from people who are officially recognised as "survivors" of abuse. All well-and-good if they are, but there are a disturbing number of instances where people who are accepted as bona fide survivors of abuse turn out not to be, with some having mental health issues, and a small but significant number are (at best) Walter Mittyesque fantasists or anti-social malcontents (at worst).

The vast, bloated shambles that is the IICSA has created a special category of "core participant" (CP), a role that is defined as
quote:
...an individual or an institution that played, or may have played a direct or significant role in relation to the matters to which the Inquiry relates; has a significant interest in an important matter to which the Inquiry relates; or may be subject to explicit or significant criticism during the Inquiry proceedings or in a report prepared by the Inquiry.
It is emerging that there are people who have previously been exposed as (to be charitable) being mistaken in their claims of abuse who have nevertheless been granted CP status. Since CPs are not only given privileged access to all the material submitted to the Inquiry (though expected to "promise to keep the evidence confidential") but also will be able to suggest lines of questioning it is an open invitation for allegations that have already been shown to be untrue to be given yet another airing.

Bland assurances that the reputations of people named by fantasists, the unbalanced or the malevolent will not be damaged are worthless. Yes, I realise there is an overwhelming feeling that in the past institutions like the CofE have got things badly wrong by shielding, even enabling, abusers in their wickedness; but sacrificing the reputation - and the mental well-being - of innocent men and women in the name of "fairness" is not a solution.

I suggest that until one actually know first-hand someone who has had their reputation besmirched by false allegations, and who has had their life, career, relationships and friendships laid waste in the process, the damage that can be wrought is unimaginable to the average person or institution. To have institutions appear sanguine about such pain as "collateral damage" is nauseating and will do nothing to promote either fairness, safeguarding or the well-being of genuine victims of abuse.

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Barnabas62
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Sometimes you don't know who to believe.

The problem with 40 year old accusations was well explored in the Carlile Report. Uncorroborated testimony, or uncorroborated denial, aren't enough in themselves to establish guilt or innocence. And after 40 years whatever evidence of corroboration, either by accusor or accused, is generally lost in the mists of time.

Carlile's suggestion, para 49 of his report, in the cases where the accused has died, is the civil law test of balance of probability should be applied by any adjudicating body. That involves taking a view. And taking a view is not making a guess at veracity. You have to have reasons for your view. Taking an accusation seriously is not the same as finding that it passes the balance of probability test.

[ 11. February 2018, 20:48: Message edited by: Barnabas62 ]

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Albertus
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Spot on. Taking an accusation seriously is taking it seriously enough to be tested.

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L'organist
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As regards safeguarding, IMO this sums up what should be considered best practice:

If we are ever to achieve closure on this issue, we need to acknowledge that there are two vulnerable categories here - the victims, and those thrust into a living hell by false accusations. We cannot damage one group to serve the needs of the other.

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L'organist
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The National Safeguarding Team (NST) and powers-that-be are doing it again.

For those of you short of time, here is a precis:
Desmond Browne QC, former Chairman of the Bar Council of England & Wales, has offered his services to Barbara Whitley, niece of George Bell, so that she can be represented at meetings of the Core Group over the "latest" allegation. Although not a close friend, Browne is known to Mrs Whitley - surely a consideration when appointing/ approving to represent the interests (and so report on matters to them) of a 93 year-old?

But no! The CofE's NST has drawn up the rules pertaining to such groups in such a way that they (and they alone) have the power to appoint (in reality approve or not) a person to represent the interests of those accused of abuse, or in this case their surviving relative(s).

So, the church's own NST draws up the rules for any investigation and then decides on who can represent interested parties: spot anything wrong here.

Rather more curious is the person that the NST has decided should represent Mrs Whitley (effectively represent the interests of George Bell): it is Donald Findlater, trustee of the Lucy Faithfull Foundation which is a charity specialising in the treatment (my italics) of sex offenders and abusers. As you can see from his CV, his background is in probation and offender management.

Barbara Whitley is 93 years old and has already been caused great upset and distress by the handling to-date of affairs to do with her uncle. Now the church, in the shape of +Bath & Wells and the NST, is causing her yet more.

Why?

Could it be because Desmond Browne QC is a member of the George Bell Group; moreover, as an eminent QC he has experience of working with the opacity frequently to be found in forensic enquiries of this nature and of slicing through bulls**t and procrastination to get at core issues and truth.

So of course a person from a background of offender management is going to be far better at representing the interests of a woman he has never met but who just happens to be on the National Safeguarding Board of the Church of England as well as on the Guildford Diocesan Safeguarding Panel.

And bishops (and others) wonder why those outside the CofE loop look at the horlicks of policy and practice with a mixture of horror, incredulity and rage.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Barnabas62
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That is weird!

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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L'organist
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Someone on Archbishop Cranmer has pointed out that even those charged with heinous terrorist offences are allowed to choose their legal representative, which makes the CofE's NST's insistence that George Bell's niece not be allowed to do so even more bizarre.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Callan
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Is safeguarding difficult? Is going forward, learning from all this, difficult? There is no point sitting in prison wondering how we got there when the doors are all open.

Blimey Martin, of course, it's difficult. Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous things one person can do to another and it can be incredibly difficult to prove. And to complicate matters abusers are not necessarily furtive degenerates in dirty macs. Some of them are charismatic and well liked members of their community. And people are not keen to believe that charismatic and well liked members of their community are, in secret, horrible people. There are basic things that could be done to improve matters, like not covering up well attested accusations of abuse, but the divergence between the number of sexual assaults, the number of sexual assaults reported to the police and the number of sexual assaults that actually result in people going down does indicate that we might not have actually cracked this one yet.

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How easy it would be to live in England, if only one did not love her. - G.K. Chesterton

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Well, its taken a while but Private Eye has finally got around to noticing the Bishop Bell saga: the latest issue draws neat lines linking the interests of the EIG and the Core Group. Apologies can't give a link, its in the print edition only.

Meanwhile, there is more detailing the CofE's caring attitude to abuse survivors on ArchbishopCranmer HERE. Read it and weep.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Jack o' the Green
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Words fail me. As a person who experienced sexual abuse from a CofE employee (and as an RMN), I have some understanding of the psychological ramifications of abuse. Such an unempathic, uncompassionate way of treating someone. Utterly shameful.
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Is safeguarding difficult? Is going forward, learning from all this, difficult? There is no point sitting in prison wondering how we got there when the doors are all open.

Blimey Martin, of course, it's difficult. Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous things one person can do to another and it can be incredibly difficult to prove. And to complicate matters abusers are not necessarily furtive degenerates in dirty macs. Some of them are charismatic and well liked members of their community. And people are not keen to believe that charismatic and well liked members of their community are, in secret, horrible people. There are basic things that could be done to improve matters, like not covering up well attested accusations of abuse, but the divergence between the number of sexual assaults, the number of sexual assaults reported to the police and the number of sexual assaults that actually result in people going down does indicate that we might not have actually cracked this one yet.
Aye Callan, but that's a different country. I.e. the past. What can be done NOW, going forward, to guarantee, that's GUARANTEE, that it NEVER happens again in the Church? As for the past, shut up and pay up.

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Love wins

Posts: 17559 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
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posted by Martin 60
quote:
As for the past, shut up and pay up.
In the case of the person referred to in the link 2 posts up, the CofE, in the shape of the National Safeguarding Team, deducted 30 pence from an expenses claim because to get to and from a therapy session they bought two single tickets, rather than a special ticket called a DayRider which cost 30 pence less.

Something I find more disturbing: the NST (Bishop Peter Hancock and his merry band) will only pay for therapy if they are sent reports by the therapist. Does anybody else experience unease about that?

And the NST won't pay for therapy unfront: they demand that the person (in this case someone abused by Bishop Peter Ball) settle the account and then submit a claim for reiumbursement; this survivor's experience is that it is taking the NST 120 days - that is 17 weeks - to pay up and, as I said, they will only do so if they get a report of the therapy session.

Just how does this sit with pronouncements from Bishop Hancock (our "expert" on safeguarding) at General Synod earlier this month in which he
quote:
...expressed thanks for people’s prayers, and admiration for the “increasing professionalism” of Church’s safeguarding staff. He wanted to pay “sincere tribute” to victims and survivors of abuse. “I am humbled by their courage."
I'd add that he should be shamed by their fortitude: just how does the good bishop think that a person who is unemployed finds the wherewithal (at £80 per session) to pay for therapy and then wait four months to be reimbursed?

Ah, but controlling costs is everything. As Private Eye pointed out, just why exactly was a lawyer who acts for Ecclesiastical Insurance present at every single meeting of the now infamous Core Group tasked with investigating - I use that term in its loosest sense - the allegation from "Carol" about Bishop Bell?

Well, the good lawyers seems to have got the message about saving money, but perhaps they're still shooting wide of the mark in their second aim which is (to quote their own website) ...defending clients against allegations of historical and contemporary abuse and managing the reputational damage they can cause.

[ 24. February 2018, 13:15: Message edited by: L'organist ]

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Martin60
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My shut up and pay up was to the Church. Never to a victim or even malicious allegator. If an allegation can be made due to a vacuum created by lack of safeguarding, that's the fine for that.

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Love wins

Posts: 17559 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
What can be done NOW, going forward, to guarantee, that's GUARANTEE, that it NEVER happens again in the Church?
That's daft, Martin. Nothing could 'GUARANTEE' that my own unhappy mauling as a kid will 'NEVER' be repeated in the Church, or anywhere else (within the family, for me; I would like to remove all doubt that I might be casting nasturtiums at any institution). But we can do our best to act when allegations are made, test to see if they are well-founded, and try to reduce the days that young people are alone in fear. I think we've come forward a fair way with that, but this thread shows, like everything, the processes often go wrong. So let's iterate, with as much intelligence as we can.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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