On 9th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on the treatment of British victims of alleged sexual violence in foreign countries, following the recent case in Cyprus. The bishop then asked a follow-up question:
Oral Question Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of British victims of alleged sexual violence in foreign countries, following the recent case in Cyprus.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon): My Lords, we take any report of rape or sexual assault seriously. Our staff explain local policing and legal procedures. We can attend the police station with and support victims and ensure that they can access medical care. We also work with specialist support organisations, such as our funded partners, and fund bespoke projects to improve the treatment of victims by authorities in other countries.
Lord Bishop of St Albans: I thank the Minister for his reply. The media reports of this young British woman convicted in Cyprus have caused alarm in many circles. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to ensure that this does not deter victims in this country coming forward to the police when they need to report something? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about treatment of British victims of alleged sexual violence abroad”
On 4th November 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received written answers from the Government, in reply to two questions about persecuted people in Myanmar:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (i) HL530 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of whether the Rohingya people’s civil and human rights are being upheld in Myanmar.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: (ii) HL532 To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of attacks against Chin people in Myanmar.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about civil and human rights of Rohingya and Chin people in Myanmar”
On 19th July 2019 the House of Lords debated at Second Reading the Victims of Crime (Rights, Entitlements, and Notification of Child Sexual Abuse) Bill, a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Brinton. The Bishop of Rochester, Rt Revd James Langstaff, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Rochester: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Baroness, Lady Brinton, for bringing forward this Bill and applaud the intention to give a stronger statutory position for victims of crime, especially in relation to the code and the role of the commissioner. The noble Baroness spoke of the “dignity and respect” with which we should treat the victims of crime. In my capacity as Bishop to Her Majesty’s Prisons, I often find myself in conversations about treating with dignity and respect the perpetrators of crime. It seems obvious that we should accord at least the same to victims of crime. In the context of this debate, I am proud that my diocese has become the first English diocese formally to sign a partnership arrangement with the White Ribbon campaign in relation to male violence against women and recruiting of champions. Continue reading “Bishop of Rochester welcomes Bill on victims of crime and reporting abuse”
On 18th October 2018 Baroness Cox asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘whether they are aware of the case of “Sarah” who was, as reported in the Daily Mail on 14 September, held captive by a grooming gang for 12 years; and if so, what assessment they have made of that case and its implications.’ The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Chester: My Lords, the Minister’s answers have related largely to child sexual abuse, but this is not a child case—it is a case of a vulnerable adult. I know it is a difficult issue, but I wonder whether a culture in which it is acceptable to pay for sexual services does not encourage some of the regrettable attitudes we have seen in these dreadful cases. Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks about sexual abuse cases”
On 10th October 2016, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne moved the motion “that this House takes note of the Report from the Sexual Violence in Conflict Committee (Session 2015–16, HL Paper 123).” The Bishop of Derby, the Rt. Revd. Alastair Redfern, who was a member of the Committee, spoke in the debate.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, served on the committee, and it was a great privilege to be part of it. I pay tribute to the expert chairmanship of the noble Baroness, Lady Nicholson. We were, to put it mildly, a diverse group, but she held us together, and we produced a report that will be significant as a foundation, as other noble Lords have said. I also offer my congratulations to the Minister, who leads by great example, as seen not just at the recent meeting at the UN in September but in all kinds of ways. She has been an encouragement and a force for the right direction within government, and I am very grateful for that contribution. I also pay tribute to the noble Lord, Lord Hague, for his PSV initiative. I had the privilege of being present at the summit in 2014, which has created a momentum that we need to learn from and develop. I will pick up the theme mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Hague, of the significance of important Governments making a public stand. In doing that, I will also speak as a faith community leader. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby discusses committee report on sexual violence in conflict”
On 26th April 2016 the Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Nick Baines, received answers to two written questions about support to victims of Daesh and the Kurdistan Regional Government’s committee on genocide and committee on mass graves:
The Lord Bishop of Leeds: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 5 April (HL7332), what financial assistance they have given to human rights defenders in Iraq to improve victim support and case documentation of sexual violence committed by Daesh. [HL7706] Continue reading “Bishop of Leeds asks Government about support for victims of Daesh and recording of atrocities”
On 22nd February 2016 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received three written answers to questions about conflict and aid in Burundi.
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have deployed, or intend to deploy, experts from the UK preventing sexual violence in conflict initiative team to help support local responses in Burundi to conflict related sexual violence. [HL5829]
Baroness Anelay of St Johns: We take the allegations of sexual violence in Burundi very seriously. The UK has been at the forefront of supporting the UN’s efforts to encourage an end to violence and human rights abuses in the country. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks Government about response to conflict in Burundi”
“This is not about money or business; it is about abused and oppressed human beings” – Bishop of Derby, 23/10/15
On 23rd October 2015 the House of Lords debated the Advertising of Prostitution (Prohibition) Bill, a private member’s bill tabled by the Conservative Peer, Lord McColl of Dulwich, that would prohibit the advertising of prostitution. The Bishop of Derby, Rt Revd Alastair Redfern, spoke supportively in the debate. The Bill was given a Second Reading by Peers and will progress to its committee stage.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: I too congratulate the noble Lord, Lord McColl, and thank him for introducing the Bill and for his important work in this important area. I will make a couple of points about the context and about the issue that we are debating.
First, there is the scale of it. I was at a lecture on Saturday where somebody explained that demand for the purchase of sex increased enormously in the 1990s with the increasing availability of online pornography. The statistics went from one in 20 men buying sex to one in 10. That is a massive increase in the market. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby supports Bill to prohibit the advertising of prostitution”
On the 7th September 2015 Baroness Benjamin asked the Government ‘what steps they are taking to protect children with learning difficulties and disabilities from sexual exploitation.’ The Bishop of Peterborough the Rt Revd. Donald Allister asked a supplementary question regarding increasing therapeutic support for children at risk.
The Lord Bishop of Peterborough: My Lords, given that abused children often do not show symptoms for some years, and that children with learning disabilities tend to show symptoms in different ways that are not as easily recognised, does the Minister agree that all children who are subject to sexual harm prevention orders or sexual risk orders should receive assessment of their needs and therapeutic support even before signs or symptoms are shown?
Continue reading “Bishop of Peterborough asks Government about support for disabled children at risk of sexual exploitation”
On 2nd July 2014, Conservative Peer Baroness Jenkin of Kennington asked Her Majesty’s Government for their assessment of the alleged sexual violence crimes committed against Syrian civilians in Syria.The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd John Pritchard, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, given that discussion of sexual violence is always a very sensitive subject in any culture, will the Minister give assurance that the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative team that is working in Syria will draw in responsible, enlightened religious leaders to combat the stigma that is so often associated with these awful crimes? This can prevent the kind of recriminations and rejection by communities and families that can result from them.
Baroness Warsi: The right reverend Prelate makes an incredibly important point. Faith as part of the solution to dealing with sexual violence was an important element of the summit, and we hosted two very successful fringe events. One involved a coalition mainly of church leaders, called We Will Speak Out. The other was at ministerial level where we hosted Sheikh Bin Bayyah, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, and discussed the way in which we can get faith communities to be the first point of support in both providing protection and changing the culture that perpetuates the culture of impunity.