Sexual Abuse

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Solicitor and former scout Lee Dawkins reports on the growing number of calls to our Abuse Helpline from people who have been abused by scout leaders. As a former scout myself I appreciate how valuable and rewarding membership of The Scout Association can be. I look back fondly on my time, first as a cub and subsequently as a scout in South London. However, as with so many institutions we admire, it only takes the acts of a few depraved individuals to tarnish the...

The Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has launched the ‘Public Hearings Project’ by announcing the start of the Inquiry’s investigative work. 12 initial areas of investigation have been identified by Judge Lowell Goddard. Some of these investigation are institution specific, while the others are thematic investigations. As part of the thematic investigations the inquiry will focus on child sexual exploitation by organised networks. Systematic grooming and sexual abuse of children is widespread in this country, with Devon and...

Our client's CICA application was originally rejected for being out of time. On our advice she appealed. The appeal was successful and the CICA will now be paying her compensation. If a crime is reported to the Police when the victim is a child, the rules of the criminal injuries scheme state that the victim must make an application to the CICA for compensation by their 20th birthday. If they miss that deadline they lose the right to receive compensation under...

Rachel Thain, a specialist abuse lawyer, reports on the ‘unreserved apology’ that has been issued by the Methodist Church for decades of sexual abuse. A three year inquiry into complaints of physical and sexual abuse involving the Methodist Church has identified allegations against almost two thousand perpetrators, taking place over the course of half a century. When you consider that each perpetrator may have had multiple victims, this means that many thousands of innocent lives are likely to have been affected. 200...

The recently published Giving Victims a Voice report claims that Jimmy Savile offended at an Exeter hospital in 1970. The report summarises the findings of Operation Yewtree, the police operation launched to investigate sexual abuse following the Savile scandal. The hospital was included in a list of 13 hospitals and hospices where Jimmy Savile is ‘reported to have offended’. The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital has been made aware and its Chief Executive is to conduct an investigation. Further allegations against Savile have...

A Somerset man has been found guilty of two counts of historic rape of a girl under the age of 13 years. Christopher Hawker, a butcher from Taunton, has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term for the offences. Widely regarded locally as a family man, 42 year old Hawker did not have to face the consequences of his abuse for many years. Through a combination of grooming and fear, his unnamed victim suffered in silence with the psychological consequences of...

A Devon football coach has been charged following allegations that he sexually abused children. Tony Mitchell, an Exeter man, has been bailed and is due to appear before Exeter Magistrates Court on 11th February 2014. He will reportedly face charges of sex abuse offences against children, including indecent assault and intent to commit a sexual act with a child. It is understood that Mr Mitchell began coaching a youth football team in the Exeter area in the 1960's and the historic allegations...

Church of England care home, Kendall House in Gravesend, Kent was an establishment run for the care of young girls from the 1970’s. It was closed down in 1986 following allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse and psychological abuse and the needless drugging of the teenage girls staying there. The astonishing revelations about Kendall House were brought to the light by one of the victims, Teresa Cooper. Teresa has campaigned tirelessly to bring to light the horrors of the treatment at...