Chapter 5 - Above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes

The Report

A Review of the Current Safeguarding Policies, Procedures and Practice within the Catholic Church in Scotland

The McLellan Commission published its Report on 18th August and has made eight key recommendations to Scotland's Catholic Bishops to improve the current standards of safeguarding within the Catholic Church.

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Chapter 5 - Above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes

Reaching out to Survivors

5.1 What the Catholic Church in Scotland does to bring healing to victims and their families is a critical test – perhaps the critical test – of its response to abuse. The greatest improvement which must be made by the Catholic Church in Scotland in its policies and procedures relating to safeguarding is in its engagement with survivors of abuse. The Church has far to go in order to fulfil Pope Benedict’s declaration of what must be done “to bring healing to the victims”. Nothing will do more for the Church’s public credibility than a new approach to survivors; nothing will do more to cleanse the Church of the shame it feels about abuse. These are good reasons for reaching out to survivors, but the most important reason is that reaching out to survivors in their need and pain is the right thing to do.

5.2 Victims and survivors are bemused, disappointed, and sometimes angered by the mixed messages that appear to emanate from the Church, when general expressions of regret are not matched by individual apologies; when leaders of the Church they believe in say it is not their responsibility, citing legal and organisational issues that are difficult to understand; and when they appear to care more about the reputation and finances of the Church and the warnings of insurers than about the rights and needs of those who have been hurt.

5.3 It has already been stated that the number of survivors met by the Commission was relatively small and that the Commission had no means of verifying what they told us. We made clear to survivors, as we have to others at every opportunity, that we were not an investigatory body and that we were aware that we could only take at face value any of the representations made to us. But the similarities in their testimonies were striking, although the experiences they described were so different as to make the question of collusion unlikely. Not one person told us of a really good experience in the response of the Church to their approach. Sometimes one or other met kindness from a safeguarding adviser, but it did not go anywhere in leading to a positive result. Most noticeable was the number of people who told us the same two things:

“No-one ever said I’m sorry for what has happened to you.”

“No-one ever said ‘What can I do to help?'”

5.4 The Report has already quoted Bishop Toal, speaking on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference in February 2015. It is worth repeating:

“The Scottish Bishops heard that the priority principle must be assistance to the victims of abuse. Such assistance must be person to person and must demonstrate to survivors a willingness to listen and an expression of understanding in the context of carefully prepared personal meetings. Safe environments need to be created for such meetings which empower survivors to find their voice so that they are heard with patience, understanding, respect and belief. …. The Catholic Church in Scotland is committed to learning from past mistakes, developing best practice and allowing external scrutiny of our work”.

5.5 If, as it appears, the Bishops’ Conference here is declaring that the priority principle must be assistance to the victims of abuse, then this is a welcome and important statement. It is a statement which will give new hope, but it is a statement which will only be judged by the actions it produces. Good words do not always lead to good deeds. The Bishops have made a fine and positive declaration, and it is one for which they will be held to account in the Church as a whole and by the public.

5.6 After the abuse at Fort Augustus School was exposed, as the Report has quoted, the Bishop of the Diocese said “all that can be done should be done for the victims”. It is clear from the evidence given to the Commission from the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service, the Benedictine Order and the diocesan Bishop that sincere efforts were made to reach out to survivors. From the perspective of those survivors, however, whose evidence we also heard, there was a sense that very little actual help was received.

5.7 A number of abused people are likely to have deliberately turned their back on the Church. It will not be easy for the Catholic Church in Scotland to reach out to survivors when they may not know who they are or where they are. But that is what they must do. One survivor told the Commission:

“It is not the place of the survivors to come to the Church. It is the place of the shepherd to find the lost sheep” (ML1).

5.8 If the Church has found it very difficult to reach out to survivors, it could be because of fear. Safeguarding can sometimes be understood as trying not to do anything for fear of doing something wrong, while it should be understood as having the courage to do the right thing safely. The Report has also mentioned the fact that some priests told the Commission that a loss of confidence as a result of the shame of recent years was making them fearful of trying anything new.

5.9 The Church is likely to be afraid of liability. In some parts of the world, large sums of money have been paid out to survivors. More will be said later on this, but at this point it can be said that refusing to engage with survivors has not been found to be a useful way of reducing liability costs. This great fear draws strength from the perception of the Church that the Church’s insurers always advise that the Church should say nothing which might sound like an admission of liability.

5.10 It is also clear that the Church believes Police Scotland will allow very little contact with survivors. It is true that there are important boundaries which must not be crossed when a criminal case is being pursued, but this does not mean that no contact in any circumstances and in any form could be approved. Once more, the Church should have a careful discussion with Police Scotland about what is appropriate in reaching out to survivors of abuse. Such new guidelines arising from these discussions should be published and made available to survivors.

5.11 It may be that fear of survivors themselves can inhibit the Church’s engagement with them. Survivors can be very angry, and they can be very angry with the Church. Listening to some survivors might prove difficult, but it cannot be avoided for that reason. The Catholic Church may have to devise ways of making sure that listening is made as safe as possible, but listening to people’s anger is part of the listening which has to be done.

5.12 A Church cannot be controlled by fear. A Church must be controlled by love. That is not an optional extra it is of the essence of the Church’s being. If the Catholic Church in Scotland is to fulfil the promise of Bishop Toal “that the priority principle must be assistance to the victims of abuse”, it will need to discover the perfect love which casts out fear.

5.13 Survivors need compassion, and survivors need justice. To meet these needs may be the greatest challenge faced by the Church.

Listening

5.14 The experiences of survivors who spoke to the Commission of attempts to use safeguarding processes in the Church were very mixed. Within individual circumstances there were examples of effective, comforting and helpful practices, combined with intrusive, threatening and sometimes frightening episodes. Some respondents described extremely caring, thoughtful and considerate actions being taken in relation to their reporting. Other people described feeling anxious, interrogated and pressured into making formal complaints to the police.

5.15 People with safeguarding responsibilities were variously described as wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful, well meaning, untrained, inexperienced and even abusive. One respondent described how an independent witness requested a meeting be ended because of the behaviour and approach of the person with safeguarding responsibilities (ML3). Other experiences valued the counsel of people with safeguarding responsibilities, but felt it to be ineffective if there were any issues that were perceived to be beyond their power to change or challenge. The lack of independence of people with safeguarding responsibilities was felt by many respondents to be problematic.

5.16 Whilst it is clear from the documentation that has been provided to the Commission that safeguarding policy and training is in place, the experience of respondents to date is very mixed. Many people with safeguarding responsibilities or Parish Coordinators have skills and professional backgrounds that can be considered relevant to working with people. However, their involvement in the safeguarding processes seems to be more related to existing relationships within their parish or diocesan communities rather than application and selection for these roles.

5.17 Such inconsistency in the perceived performance of people with safeguarding responsibilities is serious and disturbing. Some accounts can make the Church “proud”, “wonderful”, “sensitive”, “thoughtful”, but some are unacceptable: “untrained”, “inexperienced”. Such inconsistency can only be overcome by the highest standards of recruitment and training, standards to which the Report has already referred. Moreover, if the needs of survivors are to be the over-riding priority, as the Bishops’ Conference has stated, at the centre of the training must be training in listening. Involvement of survivors in this training should be sought.

5.18 In 2008 the Scottish Government published “Yes You Can – Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse”. It recognises that listening is a skill which needs to be developed, and listening to survivors needs a very high degree of skill. Its conclusion for those who have the responsibility of this listening is:

Finally – in the midst of trying to follow all the advice in this chapter, and turning into a superhuman (or just human!) being – check that you haven’t forgotten actually to consult the survivor on two very practical questions: “What problems, if any, do YOU think the abuse has left you with?” “What are the main things YOU would welcome help with now?” These questions are an essential part of planning for the kinds of support and interventions – if any – which survivors might need in the short, medium and the longer term (page 68, chapter 4).

5.19 Every survivor of abuse has the right to meet with safeguarding personnel who are highly skilled in listening. And every survivor will be much better treated if they are given the opportunity to answer these two questions:

i) What problems, if any, do YOU think the abuse has left you with?

ii) What are the main things YOU would welcome help with now?

5.20 One of the experts from whom the Commission took evidence told us that he had met the Catholic Bishop of Adelaide at a conference on safeguarding. The Bishop told the conference that whenever he receives a complaint of abuse, he telephones the complainer and asks what he can do to help.

Saying Sorry

5.21 Saying “sorry” has two different meanings. Each of them is important to survivors, and each is important for the health of the Church. One is “I am sorry that this has happened to you”; the other is “I am sorry that we did this to you”.

5.22 The first meaning is to express regret for what has happened. It does not have any implication of responsibility. It is the normal, almost instinctive reaction of a friend to a person who has had bad news or is unwell or is experiencing trouble and difficulty. In March 2010 Pope Benedict XVI expressed this kind of “sorry” clearly. In a pastoral letter to victims and their families he said:

“You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity violated”.

5.23 Despite this, the Commission was often told by survivors that no-one within the Catholic Church ever said:

“I am sorry that this has happened to you”.

5.24 Instead the Commission has been told:

“There has been no reaching out to me from the diocese of support in my distress”. “No-one has said ‘what can I do to help”?

5.25 In a compassionate Church this first meaning of saying sorry would be axiomatic, and every survivor would hear it. It has been recognised by several survivors that it is possible that apologies have been made and not heard or have been couched in language which is qualified and undermines the sincerity of the apology (ML3, 4, 21).

5.26 The second meaning of “saying sorry” is to say “I am sorry that we did this to you”. In this context saying sorry is an apology. Many institutions have found it difficult to apologise for child abuse, and the Catholic Church is no exception. However the apology made by Pope Francis quoted in the Preface to this Report went farther than his predecessor’s. Speaking to a group of survivors he said:

“Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness. I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse”.

5.27 Here Pope Francis is recognising the responsibility of the whole Church for the harm that has been done.

5.28 No doubt such an apology will have to bear fruit in actions which will stop abuse happening in the future. No doubt those whose abuse was at the hands of those who were not clergy will await another apology more clearly directed to them. But it is a clear and powerful statement of apology and so very welcome and encouraging. Yet it has to be recognised how difficult most survivors seem to find it to hear even a Papal apology.

5.29 Survivors also found it difficult to hear the apology made by Bishop Gilbert on the day the news emerged in the public domain of the abuse at Fort Augustus School:

“It is a most bitter, shaming and distressing thing that in this former abbey school a small number of baptised, consecrated and ordained Christian men physically or sexually abused those in their care. I know that Abbot Richard Yeo has offered an apology to those who have suffered such abuse and I join him in that. We are anxious that there be a thorough police investigation into all this. And, that all that can be done should be done for the victims. All of us must surely pray for those who have suffered”.

5.30 The Report has already commented on the distance between the promise of doing whatever must be done and what has actually been done. Here the point is that, even on the night, it was difficult for survivors to hear what Bishop Gilbert said as an actual apology. That night one Fort Augustus survivor told the BBC this was “thin” and:

“Had only come because they’ve got their arms up their back. On a daily basis I’ve had to swallow anger, fear and regret at my lost childhood. You don’t get absolution when you go to confession just for saying sorry. You’ve got to have a firm purpose of amendment and that involves taking action. And you’ve got to make good the damage you did. And there’s no hint of that.” (BBC website, 4 August 2013)

5.31 Words are not enough in a context where a survivor “has had to swallow anger, fear and regret at my lost childhood” on a daily basis. And yet words are necessary. Apologies will often sound thin, but they must be made, and they must be repeated. An apology should be the first step to repentance, and repentance should be the first step to action. It must not finish there, but bringing healing to the survivors of abuse begins with apology.

5.32 It could be very significant if the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland were to make a public apology to all survivors of abuse within the Church, to say “sorry” in both senses, recognising the depth of daily hurt and anger which exists and taking responsibility for what has been done within the Church. In so doing, they would be following the example of Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

Not Blaming

5.33 A Church which becomes good at saying sorry with sincerity is likely to become better at refusing to blame survivors for the effects which their abuse has had on them. Blaming the victim has been recognised in issues of race and crime, and particularly rape, as a means of diverting attention from the true cause of the experience of victims. It is expressed in cases of abuse in terms like “of course he says things like that because he is such an angry person”; or “what do you expect someone with mental health problems to say”; or “her story is a sad one, but you can never trust an addict to tell the truth.”

5.34 As stated at paragraph 2.19, several survivors expressed the view that they had felt dismissed because of their current or past state of health. This included reference to mental health difficulties; drug or alcohol problems; relationship difficulties and family breakdown. There appeared to be little recognition of the possibility or probability of these features of their lives being the outcomes of abuse suffered. Several respondents talked about feeling denigrated by the responses they received when trying to engage with the Church. Many spoke of feeling blamed for the abuse, feeling that their own reputation or character was brought into disrepute in an attempt to either justify or explain the abuse. This served to contribute to and compound the original abuse experience. An example of this included televised comments by Bishop Mario Conti in relation to the character of children who had been looked after and accommodated. (ML1, ML2)

5.35 Blaming the victim is a double fault. Failing to recognise the consequences of abuse, seeing them rather as almost mitigating circumstances, makes it impossible to see where true responsibility lies, makes it impossible to understand the depth and breadth of hurt and damage done and renders any apology shallow.

5.36 Secondly, and equally importantly, even if it were true that the addiction or anger or mental illness were to some extent the fault of the abused person, it would still make no difference to the only appropriate response of a Church. A good Samaritan does not tell the victim at the roadside that his wounds are his own fault because he foolishly went down a dangerous road; the question of blame is not even mentioned. What matters is that the wounds must be healed.

5.37 Safeguarding in the Catholic Church in Scotland will begin to heal wounds by ensuring that training at all levels persistently and unmistakably prohibits language and opinions which give any credibility to blaming the victim for the effects of abuse.

Support

5.38 One form of support which many survivors may need is counselling. The Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service provides options. The National Coordinator explained to the Commission:

“Anyone coming forward seeking counselling has been offered a range of responses which have included counselling funded by the Church, a referral to other agencies and sources of help, referral to telephone counselling with Health In Mind, financial support to access counselling of their choice etc – all in addition to meetings with members of the respective Diocesan Safeguarding Teams and Bishops themselves”.

5.39 Many survivors will not want any support from the Catholic Church. All want easier communication (“not finding every door closed”), but many see the Catholic Church as the source of their pain and want nothing to do with it. This is frustrating for the many within the Scottish Catholic Safeguarding Service who want to provide support and the beginning of healing, but it is an unavoidable fact. The Bishops’ Conference is exploring how it could offer a counselling service to survivors which is independent of the Catholic Church and which therefore might be more acceptable to those victims who would not welcome the Church’s direct involvement in their lives. The National Coordinator again explains:

“The Bishops have agreed the proposal for a National Counselling Service run by the Catholic Church for anyone affected by abuse in the Church. They have also agreed the funding behind such a development. It will be similar to, but not replicating, ‘Towards Healing’ the Counselling Service already established in Ireland”.

5.40 Towards Healing describes itself as:

An independent organisation providing professional support for people who have experienced institutional, clerical or religious abuse in Ireland.

5.41 This could be a valuable development . Whether or not it will be understood as providing the necessary independence remains to be seen.

5.42 Other survivors have found that the only way in which they have been able to find the counselling they need is by funding it privately. Counselling is very expensive. As stated above, there can already be help from the Church for this. The Church needs to establish a clear policy with regard to meeting any of these costs.

5.43 Survivors sometimes spoke to the Commission of “spiritual abuse”. A small number would welcome more of the specifically Catholic resources of healing, which the Church is able to offer. As more than one Bishop told the Commission, the sacramental resources: the resources of prayer and the scriptures, and pastoral care are the gifts which the Church should be making available as widely as possible to survivors. They are unlikely to come asking.

5.44 Pope Benedict declared it as an urgent task to:

“Bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes”.

5.45 The damage done to the families of abused people, to those who love abused people and to those who depend on abused people, is regularly hidden damage, but it is none the less real and terrible damage. Sometimes survivors never tell their experiences to those closest to them, and that hidden burden has a heavy cost. But sometimes the pain is shared, and where the pain is shared, the support must be shared as well.

5.46 Recognition of the lifelong effect of abuse, not only on survivors, but on other family members, on friends, on partners and spouses was an area that many of those who came to the Commission felt was a necessary strand of any future strategy. The weight of supporting, encouraging and advocating for someone who is, at times, in a very unhappy place can be considerable and take a heavy toll. Several respondents indicated that they would have been unable to come forward to the Commission without the help and support of family members or good friends (ML7, ML11, ML15, ML19, ML21)

5.47 The first step for the Church is reaching out to survivors. The second step is supporting. Both are long, hard and challenging steps, and each cannot be taken properly without the other. Many survivors have offered to help the Church in this process as ‘experts by experience’, and the Church should consider this offer.

Reparation

5.48 In October 2014 the National Coordinator issued a statement, approved by the Bishops’ Conference:

“Proposed InterAction on Historic Abuse of Children in Care”, as a result of a meeting between the five Religious Orders, members of the Conference of Religious, Bishops’ Conference of Scotland and the National Coordinator. It began:

“Collectively we acknowledge that those who suffer injustice have a right to make this suffering known, to name the reported perpetrator(s), to receive an apology and to seek appropriate reparation”.

5.49 The document refers specifically to the abuse of children in institutional care, but it is reasonable to assume that the acknowledgment of the right to seek appropriate reparation is extended to others who have suffered abuse. The reparation of which it speaks is in connection with the National Reparation Fund proposed by the National Confidential Forum. This Reparation Fund will be used to support survivors in terms of long-term therapy and counselling, for medical purposes, for education, for travel and respite care. It will not be designed to simply be a monetary compensation mechanism.

5.50 This is a courageous acknowledgment to make and it should be welcomed. In the past, some talk of responses to abuse have been governed by a fear of financial cost if any responsibility is admitted. In different parts of the world, large sums of money have been awarded by courts or agreed in settlements as reparation for abuse. The statement of the Catholic Church in Scotland (at paragraph 5.48) does not refer to monetary compensation awarded by the courts, but it does acknowledge the merit of reparation.

5.51 Survivors who met the Commission made the point that the assumption that what is being sought is financial reparation is deeply hurtful and offensive (ML4). Only a very small number of those whom the Commission met mentioned money and none made their mention of money anything more than a comment in passing. Reparation, as the Church acknowledges is important, but the Commission had no evidence that seeking reparation was the driving force behind the demands of survivors.

5.52 The October 2014 statement of the Catholic Church in Scotland is important because it places the Church alongside public bodies and other institutions in seeking a shared response to abuse in Scotland. It is also important because it recognises that reparation is a proper part of that response.

5.53 In other parts of the world, the Catholic Church has sometimes given the impression that it seeks to make it difficult for survivors to receive reparation (see for example CBC news website, 19 February, 2014). The Catholic Church in Scotland has an opportunity to demonstrate best practice. The Church can ensure that survivors have access to the Criminal Justice System by ensuring that all allegations are reported to the police and providing cooperation to the police, and by informing survivors of their right to seek independent legal advice should they believe they may be able to make a claim.

5.54 As already noted in the Report, difficult discussions will continue between the Church and its insurers.

Accountability

5.55 It was never in dispute throughout all of the meetings of the Commission with groups and individuals that those who had committed criminal offences must be dealt with by the police and by the courts. We were given accounts of stories involving priests in the past where the Church had been reluctant to report cases to the police: but there were no suggestions that such concealment was taking place at the present time.

5.56 Less clear-cut were instances where a priest had not been convicted in a court, but where there was still evidence that some abuse had taken place. In the past, special arrangements were sometimes made, priests were ‘retired’, priests were moved to another parish or to another diocese. One survivor told us:

“The Bishops appear to the parishioners within this parish to be speaking widely in the media about safeguarding in theory, whilst in practice on the ground, they are continuing to move priests with a ‘history’ to other dioceses, without keeping people informed”. (ML12).

5.57 In these cases there was no clear indication of accountability.

5.58 Several survivors indicated to the Commission how important it was to them that perpetrators should be dealt with effectively by the Church. This included issues in relation to public ministry, public announcements – it was not about public ‘naming and shaming’, although a small number of respondents (ML9) felt that this was appropriate – rather it was in relation to what was perceived to be misinformation regarding a priest ‘stepping down’ or ‘retiring after faithful service’. The impact of such statements was described by some survivors as ‘sickening’ and ‘distressing’. Another perspective offered here was that, for some survivors, coming forward is an indication of a wish to protect their church from the actions of abusers. That this is not recognised, coupled with the assumption that what is being sought is financial reparation, is deeply hurtful and offensive (ML4).

5.59 Communication with survivors was described by many respondents as inadequate at best and woefully uncaring at worst. Even where the communication was unlikely to bring comfort, as in the case of a perpetrator returning to active ministry, survivors have indicated that they would rather know this information. This might then help inform their choices about when, where and if they wish to worship or attend services, than to find this out by accident and potentially place themselves in difficult and distressing situations.

5.60 When Pope Francis met survivors in July 2014, he made a clear statement about accountability:

“There is no place in the Church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not. All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.” (Homily of Pope Francis at a Mass with a group of clergy sex abuse victims, 7 July, 2014)

5.61 This is a clear statement, and a statement which, in one sense, goes further than anything the Church has said before. The promise that Bishops will be held accountable for the care with which they protect minors is a response to the perception that, while perpetrators of abuse may be held to account, the institution and the Bishops in authority over the perpetrator are seldom or never held to account. The Pope’s promise that he will ensure that this can no longer be true represents a significant step towards openness and accountability. It is yet to be seen how the accountability of Bishops will operate in practice.

5.62 Some survivors (ML11 and ML21) invited the Commission to consider restorative justice as a particular form of accountability. Restorative Justice enables victims of a crime to meet or communicate with their offender to explain the real impact of the crime. It can be used to prevent conflict, build relationships and repair harm by enabling people to communicate effectively and positively. Sacro developed a restorative justice process in connection with adult survivors of abuse while in care at Quarriers Homes. The accountability in question is the accountability of the institution in which abuse occurred. The process, which is designed to address the personal, moral and emotional aspects of the harm survivors have suffered, is informal and very different both in style and intention from a trial or a court hearing. It is managed by trained facilitators, and is (unless under specified exceptional circumstances) entirely confidential to those involved.

5.63 Such a process needs the most careful management. In the Sacro pilot, even highly trained and experienced facilitators were shaken by the depth of hurt and pain revealed. The danger of further traumatisation is high. Yet restorative justice has been found to be effective in other fields. The conclusion of the scheme with Quarriers Homes was:

“Overall, the pilot process demonstrated great potential for assisting survivors in their struggle to come to terms with their experiences at Quarriers and the subsequent effects. In particular, the Restorative Meetings exemplified the healing and positive outcomes that can be achieved through Restorative Justice.” (Sacro, “Time to be Heard”, section 6)

5.64 It would be a courageous step for the Catholic Church to take even to explore the possibilities of restorative justice. It need not be a large scale process, but it could have within it the seeds of the deepest healing.

5.65 Finally, it is not clear in what ways the National Safeguarding Service itself is accountable to survivors. Almost by definition much, perhaps most, of its work is confidential. Yet ways must be found to measure its effectiveness, to ensure its improvement, even to record the demands upon it. As the Report has mentioned already, there is no mention of survivors in the Annual Audit. Somewhere, although the details must remain confidential, there must be some account of what is done for, and with, survivors, and some attempt to measure its effectiveness. Otherwise how will Pope Francis be able to hold the Bishops accountable, as he is determined to do?

Recommendations for Chapter 5

5.66 The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland should make a public apology to all survivors of abuse within the Church: recognising the depth of daily hurt and anger which exists, and taking responsibility for what has been done within the Church (paragraph 5.32).

5.67 The Church must reach out to survivors, including those whose whereabouts or identity is unknown, and support them. Many survivors have offered to help the Church in this process as ‘experts by experience’, and the Church should consider this offer (paragraphs 5.7 and 5.47).

5.68 The Church should enter into careful discussions with Police Scotland about what is appropriate in reaching out to survivors, especially when a criminal case is being pursued. New guidelines arising from these discussions should be published and made available to survivors (paragraph 5.10).

5.69 The Church should devise ways of making sure that listening is made as safe as possible for survivors (paragraph 5.11).

5.70 Training in listening to survivors must be at the centre of training of safeguarding staff. Involvement of survivors in this training should be sought (paragraph 5.17).

5.71 Training at all levels should persistently and unmistakably prohibit language and opinions which give any credibility to blaming the victim for the effects of abuse (paragraphs 5.35, 5.36 and 5.37).

5.72 The Church should establish a clear policy with regard to meeting any costs relating to counselling of survivors (paragraph 5.42).

5.73 Communication with survivors must be improved in terms of survivors being able to make informed choices about where, when and if they wish to worship and attend services (paragraph 5.59).

5.74 The Church might begin to explore the possibilities of restorative justice (paragraph 5.64).

5.75 Ways should be found to measure the effectiveness of the National Safeguarding service; ensure its improvement; and record the demands on it (paragraph 5.65).

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