Tracy Brabin MP has hailed the Archbishop of Canterbury’s support for mandatory reporting of sexual abuse as a “significant step” towards a change in the law to help protect children and vulnerable adults from harm.
The Batley & Spen MP is now calling on the government to bring forward legislation to make the reporting of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults mandatory across all institutions.
It comes after survivor Matthew Ineson, from Heckmondwike, who has waived his right to anonymity, re-lived the harrowing ordeal he endured at the hands of a Church of England priest over 30 years ago at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
Ms Brabin, who has been supporting Matthew in his quest for justice for over two years, has previously urged the Prime Minister to introduce mandatory reporting to help prevent child sexual abuse.
When pressed on the matter by Ms Brabin during Prime Minister’s Questions in December last year, Theresa May would not commit to introducing mandatory reporting, saying evidence for its effectiveness was “mixed”.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who has previously resisted calls for mandatory reporting, told the ongoing inquiry on July 11 he’s now “convinced” a change in the law is needed.
Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin said: “Matthew and many other survivors have shown incredible bravery in coming forward and reliving their ordeals, and we must do all we can to ensure others are heard and action is taken.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s support for a change in regulation represents a significant step forward and one which I believe could prevent further suffering in the future.
“There is significant international evidence to show that mandatory reporting can double the number of at-risk children placed into safety. A change in the law can’t come soon enough.
“The government must act on this evidence now and bring forward a change in legislation to protect children and vulnerable adults across all institutions.”
Earlier in the week, the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, also signalled his support for the introduction of mandatory reporting.
Many abuse survivors have long argued that mandatory reporting of suspicions or allegations of abuse to the relevant authorities is a crucial part of effective child protection.
Full transcripts of Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse hearings from this week can be found here https://www.iicsa.org.uk/key-documents