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Child abuse survivors call for an end to delay in compensation

Widespread abuse is alleged to have taken place in Islington children’s homes and foster homes from the 1970s to the 1990s

25 May, 2018 — By Emily Finch

Dr Liz Davies: ‘There can no longer be a delay – a lot of the survivors are quite elderly and some are disabled as well’

SURVIVORS of historic child sexual abuse in the borough’s children homes demanded compensation from the Town Hall at a meeting this week.

Campaign group Islington Survivors’ Network (ISN) met with Town Hall lawyers and the corporate director of Islington children’s services to discuss a redress scheme for survivors on Wednesday.

Widespread abuse is alleged to have taken place in the borough’s children’s homes and foster homes from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Dr Liz Davies, a former social worker and whistleblower who is co-ordinating the survivors’ group, said: “There can no longer be a delay [with the redress scheme]. A lot of the survivors are quite elderly and some are disabled as well.”

Ms Davies said two people had already died since the need for a redress scheme was first proposed last November by the group’s two solicitors from Leigh Day to the Town Hall.

The proposed redress scheme will work through a tariff system where the largest amount of money will be offered to those who suffered the greatest harm.

Dr Davies said: “You should still get money if you weren’t abused but still in harm’s way and living in fear in a children’s home.”

During a tense meeting last October where survivors confronted councillors, Town Hall leader Richard Watts apologised to survivors on behalf of the council for failing to protect them.

Cllr Watts revealed this week that the council has already compensated a number of survivors for the abuse they suffered and added: “[We] will of course continue to compensate survivors in the future. We are currently reviewing the best way of dealing with compensation claims.”

A Freedom of Information request by supporters of ISN revealed that the council had given out £1,184,992 between 1997 and February this year to survivors of abuse in children’s homes. The compensation averaged to just over £30,000 per person. The Town Hall has provided survivors with a dedicated trauma service at St Pancras Hospital alongside a senior housing officer and social worker.

Funds can be donated to the survivors’ network at: https://uk.gofundme.com/282fy5w

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