The BBC reported according to an inquiry, there are shocking failings and blatant hypocrisy in the way major UK religious groups handle child sex abuse allegations.
According to the BBC, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) said some religious organisations in England and Wales were morally failing children. It said, the inquiry examined evidence from 38 groups, including sects from Christianity, Orthodox Judaism and Islam.
The report found, leaders discouraged reporting abuse to protect reputations. It said the religious leaders also blamed victims for their abuse, and relied on religious dogma when responding to allegations.
According to the BBC, the report, which follows on from inquiries into the Catholic and Anglican Churches, comes after several weeks of public hearings held last year in which victims of abuse gave evidence. The BBC mentioned that it covers a series of religious groups including Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Methodists, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and non-conformist Christian denominations.
The report said that many religious sects were putting children at risk by victim blaming, not openly discussing matters of sexuality, abuse of power by religious leaders, men dominating the leadership, mistrust of non-religious agencies, and misusing the concept of forgiveness. The inquiry found that in some communities the relationship between ideas of sexual ‘purity’ and social and familial standing are likely to make abuse markedly harder to report.
It said: The imperative not to speak is bound up with notions of honour, with consequences for an individual’s ability to marry, for their family and for the ‘honour’ of their community. In extreme cases, being seen as dishonourable can lead to violence against that individual or their family. The inquiry concluded: Religious believers can find it difficult to accept that members of their congregation or religious leaders could perpetrate abuse. As a result, some consider that it is not necessary to have specific child protection procedures or to adhere strictly to them.