The Mansfield Chad is backing a campaign to urge survivors of sexual abuse in Nottinghamshire’s children’s homes to come forward as the true scale of the scandal is slowly being revealed.
David Hollas, an advocate for the Nottinghamshire Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Group is urging more survivors of abuse to have the confidence to come forward.
The retired Army Colonel became involved after meeting Forest Town man Mickey Summers, a campaigner, another former serviceman.
Mr Summers launched his own fight for justice after he was sexually abused as a youngster in care.
This became a catalyst for others to come forward after his case was revealed by the Mansfield Chad in 2014.
David Hollas said: “I promised I would do what I could to raise Mickey’s concerns more constructively than he was doing. I was introduced to another surviver and then another.”
He created the Nottingham CSA survivors group, creating platforms to engage with the authorities.
He said: “If there are survivors who have yet to come forward they should do, they will be listened to, and they will be supported.”
He added: “We are not just talking about two homes and 20 kids we are talking about 300 kids whose lives have been ruined by sexual abuse in care.
My plea is for anybody who was a victim of abuse in care, including foster care, that now is the time to come forward and take the support that is available, to deal with the demons so they can rebuild their lives.
“The first thing to do is to contact the police. The national inquiry has the Truth Project where they can tell their stories in a supported environment.”
So many survivors of sexual abuse in Nottinghamshire childrens’ homes have come forward to report their experiences it has become a special case study.
The opening of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) will take place in Nottingham in October.
It was set up in 2015 to investigate organisations and institutions that have failed to protect children from sexual abuse.
The inquiry is looking at allegations of child abuse in children’s homes and foster care in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire from the 1940s right through to 2000.
More than 300 alleged victims have now come forward in Nottinghamshire. David Hollas said: “We were able to get an inquiry not only to recognise the scale of the abuse , we have also agreed they will conduct the opening and closing in Nottingham.”