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Previous Action

1. Took the concerns about the restrictedness of the forum to James Kelly MSP who wrote to the Minister Adam Ingram MSP on 23 April 2010 voicing our concerns. There has been no response to date from the Minister.

2. Raised concerns regarding the forum with the Scottish Government’s Survivor Scotland Team at the meeting of the National Reference Group on Childhood Sexual Abuse on 25 November 2009. The outcome of concerns raised by the petitioners and other survivors was an event at which Tom Shaw, Chair of the “Time To Be Heard”, and the other Commissioners for the forum explained why adult survivors of abuse in Quarriers institution would be exclusively heard by the forum. We survivors, and indeed my fellow members of the Scottish Government National Reference Group on Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), were not involved in any consultation in the decision that the forum would be a select 100 from Quarriers institution. The announcement regarding the select 100 survivors to the Reference Group on CSA was made on 25 November 2009 by Sue Moody, the Scottish Government’s legal expert.

Some of the lead professionals and I raised concerns at the meeting in November 2009 about firstly, the lack of consultation to make it a select group of survivors and secondly dropping the accountability element in the pilot forum. The best explanation we, the survivors, have had as to why the forum was only being opened to the Quarriers victims was that, the organisation was responsible to recognise the abuse that had happened in the past and to work with survivors to make amends.  I have asked senior civil servants who sit on the Reference Group what sort of dialogue they had with other organisations such as the Catholic Church. I have not had an answer!

Tom Shaw wrote to me in response to an application I made to the forum. I knew that non Quarriers victims didn’t fit the criteria however, I wanted an explanation as to why the forum was not inclusive. In his response he said:
“As you know the Pilot Forum is focused on former residents of Quarriers and the 100 places are available only to those adults who were resident there as children. I am unable to include anyone who was resident as a child in other residential schools and homes unless they lived for at least a short period in Quarriers“. His letter of 9 June 2010 ended: “I will arrange for a copy of my report on Time To Be Heard to be sent to you on publication next year. The outcome therefore was an answer Quarriers only!

3. Drafted a paper on the redress scheme in Ireland outlining why this model should be adopted in Scotland and circulated it to all MSP’s. My paper met with no response from the Scottish Government. However, Jack McConnell MSP who made the apology for the abuse in 2004 did back a similar redress scheme to Ireland in his email response to me. Most other MSPs referred me to my constituency MSP James Kelly.

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