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Past Cases Review 2

The Church of England has carried out a review of its handling of allegations of abuse. The publication is called Past Cases Review 2.

The overall purpose of the review was to identify both good practice and institutional failings in relation to how allegations of abuse have been handled, and to provide recommendations to the Church of England that will lead to improvements in its response to allegations of abuse and in its overall safeguarding working practices; thereby ensuring a safer environment for all.

Protocols and practice guidance for PCR2 were published by the National Safeguarding Team in August 2019. Each Diocese in England was asked to review its own files and produce a local report. The Diocese of Norwich local executive summary can be accessed here: Diocese of Norwich Past Cases Review 2 Executive Summary

In the Diocese of Norwich, the Past Cases Review 2 (PCR2) was completed in 2021, specifically after taking into account the voices of survivors which helped to shape how the review was conducted. Survivors were not invited to contribute to the 2007-2009 PCR and the Church has wanted to ensure a different, trauma informed approach is taken by PCR2.

During PCR2, anyone with information or who wanted to come forward with a disclosure was encouraged and able to contact the Diocese of Norwich Safeguarding Adviser, Sue Brice.

However, recognising that this may not feel safe for those with a lived experience of abuse from within the church, a dedicated telephone helpline was also available which operated independently from the church.

The Diocese of Norwich continues to work with Safe Spaces, an independent service offering support to survivors of church-related abuse, whether or not a report has been made. It is free to access via telephone or email.

Anyone can use the helpline to provide information or to raise concerns regarding abuse within the Church of England context; whether they are reporting issues relating to children, adults or seeking to whistle blow about poor safeguarding practice.

The Safe Spaces pilot ended in September this year.  Since then the service has continued, and has been provided by Victim Support and FearLess (formerly Splitz) on an interim basis until a new service provider could be procured. From 9 January 2023 the new service provider will be First Light. FearLess will continue to provide this service until 9 January 2023, after which First Light will deliver the Safe Spaces service, and people will have the option to transfer to the First Light-led service.

There is no immediate change for service users.  The interim service will continue right up until First Light take over.  First Light are working closely with both interim providers to ensure a smooth transition to the new service.

The service continues to be independent of the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales and provides trauma-informed information, emotional support and advocacy.

To find out more please click here.