Yesterday (Mon July 3rd 2017) saw the publication of the long awaited report of the Jersey Child Abuse Inquiry which can (and should) be read HERE. As readers would expect Team Voice will be reporting on the report's content/findings in more detail in the coming weeks/months.
Firstly we should say that the report vindicated the Victims and Survivors of horrendous abuse over a period of decades. They were listened to by the Child Abuse Inquiry and most importantly they were believed. A landmark day for the survivors.
VFC was granted an in-depth interview (video below) with Chief Minister Ian Gorst who acknowledged the vindication of Victims/Survivors and went on to acknowledge/vindicate Team Voice for its determination to give them a voice.
We asked the Chief Minister questions that don't get asked by the local Mainstream Media, indeed we asked him about the local MSM, who despite (in some cases) have improved their reporting (or not) in recent years still have many questions to answer for their role in forming public opinion against the original police investigation (Operation Rectangle) and by implication the Victims/Survivors and their campaigners.
Chief Minister Gorst is encouraging States Members and members of the public to read the Inquiry's report in its entirety. He wants people to try and understand the extent of the abuse dished out to vulnerable children who were in the "care" of the States of Jersey and elsewhere. We too encourage readers of this Blog to read the harrowing stories given in evidence by Victims/Survivors and others.
Unless people have read the transcripts/evidence of abuse Survivors' to the Inquiry they will have no idea of the horrors they were subjected to. This (we argue) is because the local MSM has down-played that evidence/abuse and not reported on it at all.
A particular story they haunts me to this day and I believe will haunt me for a long time to come is of a Victim/Survivor giving evidence to the Inquiry. He was, courageously, reliving/telling his story of when he was an eight year old boy at Haut de la Garenne when he was anally raped by one of the staff. His anus was bleeding for days and through embarrassment/fear he tried to mask the anal bleeding by stuffing toilet roll in the wound. When that did not "cure" the "problem" he was taken to the hospital where the "doctor" "diagnosed" him with piles and back he went to Haut de la Garenne. The Victim/Survivor told the Inquiry that his abuser told him if he spoke of the abuse to anybody he will be sent to St. Saviour's mental hospital.
Can you imagine being an eight year old vulnerable child put into an institution of "care" where you are being anally raped/tortured and then being told/threatened that a place exists (St. Saviour's) worse than where you are at?
The same day this evidence was given to the Inquiry local ITV/CTV reported that evidence of abuse was given at the Care Inquiry by Victims which included being flicked by towels in the shower. This is why the local MSM's role in public opinion against Operation Rectangle, and by implication, the Victims and Survivors should have formed part of the Inquiry's TOR's and why everybody should read the Inquiry's report to get a real understanding of what torture these vulnerable children really went through because the MSM hasn't told that story.
We also asked Chief Minister Gorst what he is going to do about former Home Affairs Minister, and current PAC Chairman, Andrew Lewis. Deputy Lewis has now been labelled a "liar" by the Panel of the Care Inquiry. The Panel believes that not only did the Deputy lie to the Island's parliament when he (possibly illegally) suspended the Chief of Police during a live Child Abuse Investigation (Operation Rectangle) but believe he also lied (under oath) to the Inquiry itself. Is that not perjury?
The Chief Minister was visibly uncomfortable with that question and answered it by saying the Privileges and Procedures Committee (PPC) will need to look at it. When told by VFC that a complaint had already been made about Deputy Lewis' "lies" (long before the report was published) PPC refused to deal with it. The Chief Minister told us that PPC will HAVE to deal with it.
Regular readers will be aware of the complaint to PPC against Andrew Lewis but for our many new readers it can be read HERE and HERE. The question has to be asked: "Is PPC fit for purpose and will a Vote of No Confidence be brought against it?" We are told that a Vote of No Confidence against Deputy Andrew Lewis IS being drafted and attracting strong support from across the political divide.
Also discussed in the interview below are the recommendations of the Care Inquiry and if /how they can be implemented. "The Jersey Way" is another topic discussed and much more.
Team Voice would like to thank Chief Minister Gorst for being approachable and engaging with Citizens Media. We also thank him for the support he has given to the Care Inquiry, his vindication of Abuse Survivors and finally his vindication and support of Team Voice's campaign.
We'd like to take this opportunity to remind the media that there will be a Press Conference held by Campaigners for Abuse Victims/Survivors at the Royal Court Building 1:pm in the Blampied room. The Press Release can be read HERE.