Inquiry Plea To Abuse Survivors

Survivors of abuse in care or institutions are being asked to help shape the future public inquiry into historic cases of child abuse.

The inquiry was announced by Education Secretary Angela Constance in December.

It will have the power to compel witnesses to attend and give evidence and, where crimes are uncovered, the "full force of the law'' will be used to bring those responsible to justice.

Extra meetings in Edinburgh and Glasgow have now been arranged to give more people the chance to have a say on the remit of the probe and what skills they want to see in a chairperson or panel.

The meetings have been organised by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS).

Places for the sessions, taking place in Edinburgh on March 17 and in Glasgow on March 19, must be reserved in advance. Other meetings have already been held in the cities and in Perth.

Ms Constance said: "The initial feedback from those who have been able to attend the meetings has already been very helpful and the inquiry team are receiving information by phone and in writing from across Scotland and beyond.

"I greatly appreciate that survivors of abuse have taken the time to share very personal and painful memories and experiences to help us set the right terms for this inquiry.

"This Parliament must always be on the side of victims of abuse and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to come forward and put their views on the record.

"I would really encourage anyone who has a view about how we can ensure that victim's voices are heard to take a look at the webpages, call for more information or try to come to a meeting if they are able.''

Professor Andrew Kendrick, of CELCIS, said: "The announcement by the Scottish Government of a public inquiry and other commitments to survivors of historic abuse moves us closer to achieving justice for survivors.

"We hope that through these events, survivors will influence how the inquiry and other commitments are taken forward so that their needs are fully addressed.''

People unable to attend can give their views in writing through the Scottish Government website or by contacting a specially set-up phone line, 0808 800 0031.

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