Due to an unprecedented volume of referrals, we regret that we are unable to accept any new referrals between Wednesday 1st December 2021 and Wednesday 5th January 2022. We will continue to prioritise urgent cases and will take high-risk referrals only if a CAADA-DASH risk assessment has been undertaken and is attached with the referral. We will also continue to accept MARAC referrals. Our No Recourse Fund remains open for applications and referrals. Our Helpline (020 8571 9595) remains open between 9:00am and 5:00pm Monday – Friday until Friday 17th December, when SBS will close for the holidays until Wednesday 5th January 2022. 

You can reach the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you are in immediate danger, dial 999.

Southall Black Sisters welcomes the shocking report on child abuse in religious settings that was published this week and to which we gave written and oral evidence. Although not the full and final report, it exposes the pervasive culture of hypocrisy, secrecy and denial around religious abuse of power, particularly in minority communities which have so far evaded attention. We hope that the final and full report will recommend robust measures on child protection, independent oversight and accountability. There can be no appeasement or concessions made to religion.

See the IICSA report here: Child protection in religious organisations and settings – Investigation Report – September 2021

Update 09/09/2021

The report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in religious settings was published last week. In this powerful blog Richard Scorer, who represented SBS and others at the Inquiry, sets out the key findings of the Inquiry and echoes our concerns about the efficacy of the final recommendations (yet to come). Our fear is that the recommendations may not go far enough in ensuring that continued self-governance by religion is no longer an option. The focus must be on the urgent need for new laws and robust and independent measures of accountability.