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Victim Information Shared to Inquiry Erased from Website

It was revealed last week that information provided by victims to the independent inquiry into child abuse, set up last July by the Government, has been erased.

Information Automatically Erased

Any information submitted via an online form between September 14th and October 2nd was ‘instantly and permanently deleted’ before any staff had the opportunity to view it. The inquiry has admitted that the automatic deletion of information was due to the website’s address being altered.

The website was created for survivors and victims of child abuse willing to provide information of their experiences with officials working on the inquiry. All information that was erased was shared by victims to the website’s ‘share your experience’ page. However, the inquiry is now asking those victims who provided information between the two dates to resubmit this.

Apology

The inquiry has reiterated that no information provided is at risk of being disclosed and an apology has been issued via its website. The statement reads:

“Due to a change in our website address to www.iicsa.org.uk on 14 September, any information submitted to the Inquiry between 14 September and 2 October through the online form on the Share your experience page of our website, was instantly and permanently deleted before it reached our engagement team.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience or distress this will cause and would like to reassure you that no information was put at risk of disclosure or unauthorised access.

“Due to the security measures on our website, your information cannot be found or viewed by anyone else as it was immediately and permanently destroyed.

“We would like to apologise again to anyone who submitted details to the Inquiry during this time and to ask you to please resubmit your information through the online form.”

Previous Setbacks

The inquiry was set up in July 2014 after a number of claims emerged relating to a ‘high-level cover up of abuse’ and has already been affected by a number of delays. Home Secretary Theresa May officially reopened the probe under New Zealand Judge Lowell Goddard in March this year following the resignation of two previous chairwomen.

Dame Fiona Woolf stood down due to criticism over her ‘establishment links’, in particular due to the Dame’s relationship with Leon Brittan, a former Home Secretary who passed away earlier this year. Whilst Baroness Butler-Sloss had earlier resigned as chair last year amid speculation regarding the role her late brother played as attorney general in the 1980s.

The Home Secretary has also recently placed the probe on a statuary footing, meaning that the inquiry has the power to oblige witnesses to provide evidence.

The inquiry is set to be Britain’s largest public inquiry and is expecting to hear testimony from over 30,000 victims. This number is less than one percent of over three million British adults who experienced abuse as children and officials predict the landmark inquiry to take around 5 years to complete.

Sexual Abuse – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in directing sexual abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6 888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: Mail Online

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