Historical child abuse inquiry announces key dates

A boy with his hands on his head Image copyright Science Photo Library

The chairwoman of the inquiry into historical child abuse has announced two key dates for the investigation.

Susan O'Brien QC has said those giving evidence must have experienced abuse no later than 17 December 2014.

Furthermore, the QC wants any group which wants to express how the inquiry should proceed to make their views known by 31 January next year.

Survivors' groups have previously criticised a lack of progress in the work of the Scottish inquiry.

The probe - established in October after its initial announcement in December, 2014 - will cover abuse within living memory up to 17 December, 2014.

It will examine abuse of children in care and the effects of abuse on children and their families.

Statutory powers

The inquiry will also examine the extent of failures of bodies with legal responsibility to protect children in care, whether such failures have been addressed, and if further changes are needed.

Ms O'Brien said: "We are developing procedures to take the evidence of survivors, as it is likely that many individuals will apply to give us their testimony.

"We are considering how best to assess the evidence from victims/survivors and all the other evidence the inquiry receives. We also require to determine which of the witnesses will remain anonymous."

The inquiry will have statutory powers to compel witnesses to give evidence.

It will also examine any instance where a child was abused at institutions including residential care provided by faith-based organisations, children's homes, secure care and those placed in foster care.

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