You may have seen our feature in the Phonebox Magazine this month with Eli Ward, following up from the previous story we published on his case. Having been issued a formal apology over the abuse scandal from the Archbishop of York, Eli came to us with a follow-up story.
You can read a section of his story below, or click here to be taken to the online magazine to read more.
"Abuse is heavily documented in the media, more than it ever has and none of us seem to be shocked any more by the revelations being unearthed at almost every tier of society. What is not clear to the public is how extremely well protected and secret the whole subject is. Whether it is a mentality to protect and cover up, lose paper work or have bungled police investigations, there is no denying that it is all extremely odd. The reporting to the police by members of society in positions where you would expect them to do the right thing is simply not happening.
My case is a typical example. Here we had an Oxbridge and Dullwich school educated Dean, a former headmaster, once head of the Oratory of the good shepherd and advisor to education on religious matters abusing over five decades. As his CV became stronger, so did the number of victims he engulfed. There were several victims over the years who put in phone calls to the church to inform them that they had been abused.
Robert Waddington was still abusing when he was confronted by the former Archbishop of York about the allegations. Nothing happened. The police were not informed and the victims were not consulted or even told about one another. Robert Waddington was allowed to ruin lives and yet escaped conviction, let alone be interviewed by the police. Despite courageous victims coming forward to speak about their abuse, no help was offered to them, and it would appear that a self policed farce took place instead...
The report into Robert Waddington as launched by the current Archbishop of York is excellent and if anybody wants a copy, then they should contact the Phonebox. It is a 164 page document which details the extent of the inquiry including many recommendations as to how to prevent such behaviour happening again. The recommendations indicate how a central separate body should be utilised to deal with allegations and cases of childhood abuse. It will be interesting to see if these and other recommendations are actioned by the church. The story therefore still continues, and I will do what I can to ensure that children are kept safer and that it becomes nigh on impossible for abusers to survive."