The National Catholic Safeguarding Commission has published its Annual Report for 2019.
In his foreword, the late Chris Pearson, former Chair of the NCSC, highlights ‘Six Key Thoughts’ from a victim/survivor perspective:
Respond with honesty, humility, and openness of heart.
Listen from the heart
There is no need to suspend one’s critical faculties but learn to listen from the heart – meet with survivors/victims of abuse; sit face to face with them, hear their stories, try to get a sense of how they are feeling.
Acknowledge the issues
Demonstrate practically, true acknowledgement of the issues. Be honest. Say sorry and mean it. Exhibit Zero Tolerance of abuse or any type of cover up.
God is rarely mentioned – don’t leave God out of the solution.
Prioritise appropriate levels of training which are provided by those suitably qualified to deliver it from a professional/personal perspective including credibility from victim/survivor viewpoint.
Loss of victim/survivor focus
Don’t assume or tell survivors what they need – ask them. Listen. Respect. Respond. Support.
These thoughts were collected by the Survivors Advisory Panel (SAP) for their meeting with Cardinal Nichols, held prior to a four-day summit in February 2019 with Pope Francis and other Church leaders in the Vatican, reflecting on the protection of minors from abuse.
Since early 2019, these thoughts have been shared more widely within the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
You can download and read the 2019 report.
Visit the website for the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission