We don’t know, but consider religious freedom, says C of E response on exceptions to mandatory reporting

Sep 21, 2023 by

by Hattie Williams, Church Times:

THE Church of England safeguarding bodies’ response has been given to the government consultation on mandatory reporting of child abuse — without being clear whether it supports any religious exceptions, including the seal of confession.

The response was drawn up by the Church’s National Safeguarding Team (NST) with input from policy advisers, diocesan safeguarding teams, lead safeguarding bishops, and the Seal of the Confessional Working Group. It was submitted by the National Safeguarding Director and published on Tuesday afternoon.

Mandatory reporting — without religious exception — was one of the key recommendations in the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) last year ().

The recommendation specifies that this would not apply to situations in which a child is aged between 13 and 16 years old, and it is reasonably believed that the relationship is consensual and not intimidatory, exploitative, or coercive, and that the child has not been harmed and is not at risk of being harmed; and also when there is a difference in age of no more than three years between consenting parties.

Read here (£)


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