Subscribe

How rampant is child sex abuse in Britain? Inquiry could last years.

The chair of the investigatory panel has vowed that 'no one will be immune from scrutiny by virtue of their position.'

  • close
    This undated photo shows Justice Lowell Goddard.
    Courtesy of Britain's Home Office/PA via AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Britain has launched a potentially years-long investigation into decades of alleged abuse in Britain's schools, hospitals, and other institutions.

The independent inquiry will be spearheaded by New Zealand High Court Judge Lowell Goddard, who was brought in to chair the investigatory panel after previous chairs resigned due to potential conflicts of interest, the BBC reports.

The sweeping investigation could last until 2020, Justice Goddard said on Thursday, adding that the scope of the crimes could be much broader than is currently understood. One estimate, referenced by Goddard, suggests that as many as one in 20 children have endured some level of sexual abuse.

"No one, no matter how apparently powerful, will be allowed to obstruct our inquiries," Godard said Thursday. "No one will be immune from scrutiny by virtue of their position."

Home Secretary Theresa May first announced the inquiry in July 2014, following claims of systemic cover-up of child sex abuse involving public figures, including politicians. Goddard, was appointed in February 2015 to investigate how public bodies and other non-state institutions handled allegations of child abuse.

The panel will not have the authority to find people guilty of crimes, but Goddard says it will not hesitate to publicly name abusers.

Child sex abuse allegations began to resurface in Britain after the death of the British entertainer Jimmy Savile in 2011, which was followed by numerous people coming forward and accusing him of child abuse.

The United States has struggled with similar issues in recent years. While a 2012 report from the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center found that child sex abuse in the US had dramatically declined since the 1990s, subsequent scandals involving buried allegations at the Boy Scouts of America and at Pennsylvania State University suggested that incidents of abuse in the United States may be underreported as well.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK