If the last few years taught us anything, it’s that child abuse thrives in institutions where they can’t speak out, are unwilling to do so, or won’t be believed when they do.
To a certain extent, it is inevitable. Children are resistant to talking about what is happening right now. Very often, they distrust all adults, and don’t differentiate between a social worker and a prison officer. In scandal after scandal, they report abuse years after it has taken place.
But that means authorities must be more imaginative about how to respond. We can encourage children to speak out, and minimise the likelihood of abuse in the first place, by investigating the reality of sex behind bars and following the evidence. That is not happening.
Independent investigators are barred from entering prisons. The Ministry of Justice has made it all-but impossible for journalists or researchers to get into jails. The Guardian recently spent eight months seeking permission for one reporter to go into a oneRead More »from Could children in prisons be the next abuse scandal?