Nothing is more important than the protection of children from abuse. The revelations that have come to light over the last few years have been very serious, stomach-churning allegations.
I am glad the Government has announced there will be independent inquiries into the historic allegations of child abusers linked to Westminster. Everyone has been shocked by the revelations relating to people in the public eye who have often got away with abusing people over several decades. The fact that a number of these people have then been brought to justice will hopefully encourage others to come forward knowing that just because the events may have happened a long time ago does not mean they will not be fully investigated and pursued in the courts.
We cannot begin to imagine how difficult it is for victims of child abuse to come forward and talk about the abuse they have suffered. My Parliamentary colleague Tessa Munt MP announced this week she was a victim of child abuse. She highlighted how important it is that victims feel they will be listened to and believed, and that action will be taken wherever possible to ensure justice is done, and that those who have suffered may hopefully work towards gaining some sense of closure. I could not agree more with Tessa.
There are concerns that abuse of children is under-reported and the Government are considering whether mandatory reporting will provide greater protection to children.
Of course this is a decision that needs very careful thought and the Government are consulting with a wide range of experts on this issue before coming to any definitive conclusions.
What needs to happen now is that the investigations get to the truth, leaving no stone unturned, that justice is delivered and the victims are given full support they deserve.
The lid needs to be lifted off those who were protected by allegations being swept under the carpet.
Child abuse is one of the worst crimes imaginable and leaves devastating consequences. It is only right that these investigations finally see the abusers brought to justice.