Sexual abuse survivor calls on Archbishop for further action

Edinburgh, Friday 3 November 2017: Archbishop Justin Welby has been sent an open letter by prominent abuse survivor Gilo (surname withheld on request) complaining about the derisory ammounts victims are in effect forced to accept by the Church’s insurers, and asked to remedy this.

The letter, published on the websites of Christian think-tank Ekklesia and prominent blog site Thinking Anglicans, calls upon Archbishop Welby to join three bishops in recognising major flaws in the Church’s response and concludes with six searching questions for the Archbishop that need to be faced by the Church.

Gilo explains the long term consequences of the abuse he suffered on his quality of life, relationships and finances and describes the financial settlement for this as being “derisory and heartless”.

Gilo notes that the “Church’s claimed policy of exercising pastoral responsibility” is not matched at all by the actions of its insurer. He explains how settlements are made by the Church’s insurer, typically in the low tens of thousands, and under duress, and are based on settlements “20-30 years out of date” and long before the long term consequences of abuse were properly recognised. 

The insurers strive, he believes, to keep cases out of court to prevent appropriate new settlements being established. Victims are frightened to challenge such settlements as they could be withdrawn leaving them owing both sides’ legal fees.

He asks the Archbishop to commit to the Church funding equitable settlements and revisiting old ones and helping victims financially with the costs of rehabilitation, preferably through an arms’ length organisation.

Archbishop Justin Welby has already apologised publicly to Gilo for failing to reply to 17 letters. Gilo hopes that if that apology meant anything he will respond to this one.

Simon Barrow, Director of Ekklesia, said: "We are pleased to join with Thinking Anglicans in helping to make this Open Letter public. Gilo has been enormously courageous in pressing the Church of England and EIG on this. We hope the Archbishop will respond positively to the latest letter, and engage in constructive discussion on its proposals."

Read the full letter here.

For further comment, contact Gilo at:   " target="_blank">