Public hearings in Northern Ireland are now under way in what is the biggest ever child abuse inquiry of its kind in the United Kingdom.

The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry is investigating allegations of child abuse in 13 Northern Irish care homes, orphanages and other residential institutions from 1922 to 1995, Community Care reports.
The inquiry is also set to look at how 120 children from these institutions were sent to Australia between 1947 and 1956.
The inquiry has seen over 400 people come forward to say they have been abused.
The inquiry was set up by the Northern Ireland Executive after the 2009 Ryan Report into child abuse within Catholic institutions in the Republic of Ireland. The Report caused and outcry and sparked a campaign for a similar investigation in Northern Ireland.
We’re very glad that this inquiry is going ahead, but we do need an inquiry of this nature here in England.
For anyone new to the world of the care system in England, all it takes is a quick Google of a phrase like “child abuse in care homes in England” and a depressingly long list of items flash up on the screen. From young boys in care who come forward to say they’ve been abused by MPs, to warnings by our own government departments that care homes are still not free from child sexual abuse, these atrocities are still being committed today, on a large scale.

It’s time our government looked at this issue here in England. The topic of children being abused in care homes goes back many decades. We see long term abuse highlighted in documents like the Jillings Report, which focused on child abuse in care homes in Wales and which revealed that their had been “Extensive abuse” in those homes. English care homes don’t fare any better. Kendall House was a care home which allowed the systematic abuse of children for years, and yet our government still refuses to look into these issues, citing previous reports carried out as sufficient examination.

We beg to differ. As long as children in England are being abused and men and women are coming forward to highlight gross abuse, our government should be doing everything it can to stop this from happening.
We applaud Northern Ireland for looking into its care homes and seeking out the truth. Now, it is time David Cameron did the same.

7 thoughts on “The UK’s biggest child abuse inquiry begins in Northern Ireland – Now We Need One in England”
  1. Natasha, as you rightly say abuse of British kids in care has been on-going for decades with Scotland Yard and many police forces aware from dot but the police have to keep it quite, there is so much corruption as we all know and truth can only be told when the naughty men who have taken the childhood away from little children are dead as we know of Savil and Smith, at the moment the names of child abusers are the celebes and them in power who are disgusting animals go free because OH yes they must run the country and should some one in Government be named well as we know of the investigations going on for the past god knows how long it is all talk and more money in a rotten corrupt so called british country, I think the world is beginning to know of the plight of the abused kids in care in the UK and I wonder why all of a sudden its all in the news not to take away foreign kids who come to this country well well I know it is all to do with Politics and the EU lets also remember that John Hemming had a meeting in Parliament last year with 35 representatives from from the EU who were concerned with the child care system. No government for as long as i have lived changes the laws over night but they have as can be read in the media now on stopping adoptions of foreign children, Know one needs the brains of Lloyed George to know what is going on in Governments.

  2. I want to play devils advoicate. Why have an inquiry at all ? All the other ones have not made a ha’porth
    of difference. Its fate is preordained. It will be yet another report gathering dust on the shelves of the Whitehall Dept responsible. And which Dept is that these days ? HO, as its a criminal offence ? The Min of Justice ? OFSTED ? Dept of Health ? Dept of Education ? All have a finger in this pie and yet no one can make, it would appear, an wothwhile executive decision.

    • Hi Robert, that’s a valid point.
      I think inquiries can serve several functions: most importantly, it gives victims a voice.
      Secondly, inquiries allow for the opportunity to review any existing practices which are unethical or unlawful and to have them dealt with.
      Thirdly, they can allow for a change in culture. In the UK especially, we are not terribly clued up when it comes to children. An inquiry into child abuse would allow for a greater debate on issues surrounding children, which this country so desperately needs.
      What happens on the ground is another issue in itself, but sometimes before anything lasting can take effect, we must have incremental events which open the door for change.
      If the journey of a thousand reports starts with one, perhaps the journey to a better system starts with one voice which echoes in the first report. The voice of a courageous victim coming forward to help change our world for the better.

      • I am sure you are right. But we have over 30 reports stretching over 30 years. I have a blog site where this is discussed, and for every ‘first step’ no reform therafter takes place. QED ?

      • Yes, lots of reports, no real change. However, I do think that if it helps victims in some way it’s a good thing and if it allows debate on a subject, that’s good too. And though we can’t measure the impact of such things on the collective consciousness of a nation, the fact that family law has started to become a mainstream issue in the last few years could, in part, be to do with reports like these. We just don’t know.
        The only thing I’m sure of is that the more these awful things are exposed, the more likely change will follow.

  3. The cynic in me is left wondering why this is happening now? Is it to draw a line under it? Is it to deflect attention away from more current child abuse issues? Is to keep people employed? Is it to show that the government is really doing something?
    I ask because unless the lessons of the past are learnt then it will all be in vain. These kids were in situations that were perfect for abuses to occur. In the UK more care homes are opening as more kids are taken into care. They are being run by those who wish to make money and money is a great motivator to keep abuses hushed up.
    The Children & Families Bill was the ideal opportunity to radically change family law but its a dead duck as far as families are concerned. It was the opportunity to push for family preservation, supporting those who hit a crisis but was used instead to push for more adoptions and for the family to have less contact with a child
    in care. Lessons have not been learnt yet decades have passed and more kids are in the care system and more families split asunder! More and more stories will come out about historic abuses but none will be worse that what this government is doing now!

    • Hi Dana, to my mind the trouble with these reports which focus on historical abuse is that most of the people who are responsible for the atrocities are either dead or on life support.
      We don’t respond fast enough.
      And that’s the problem with the law, and politics, in a nutshell.