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Sex abuse inquiry: 'Victims receive death threats' after MPs publish their identities online

BY KASHMIRA GANDER

Survivors of sex abuse say they have received death threats and been approached by their abusers, after MPs published their details online.

As part of its inquiry into how the Home Office handled historical sex abuse, the House of Commons’ Home Affairs select committee revealed the identities of four victims on its website.

In a letter to Home Secretary Theresa May, a group of abuse survivors said: “It has exposed us as individuals, making us feel vulnerable, and is having a huge impact on our work.”

Keith Vaz, the chair of the inquiry, published an unedited version of the 96-page document, but has since redacted the names of the survivors of abuse and other sensitive details.

The documents were made public in a bid to support claims that a member of the Home Office’s abuse panel, Sharon Evans, had been bullied by another member of the inquiry team.

The letter seen by The Telegraph which was signed by the four people who were named, and by 14 other individuals, said: "named individuals/survivors” have been subjected to hate campaigns are a result of the publications "and negative attitudes expressed by some panel members."

It added that the way the panel members had discussed other survivors was a "shameful reflection of their lack of responsibility and knowledge of the issues."

"As individuals - who are also survivors - to experience this without the offer of support or apology from the home affairs select committee, the secretariat or the Home Office is a shameful reflection of process.

Sources told Sky News that Home Secretary Theresa May has written to Mr Vaz describing her “dismay” at the publication of the documents. The source added Mr Vaz was now in the process of apologising to 18 members of the group.

The Home Affairs select committee said in a statement: "Last week, some material from the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse came into the Committee’s possession in the course of our inquiry. The material included directions to Panel members about how they should answer questions from the Committee, as well as e-mail exchanges between Panel members about the Panel’s external communications strategy.

"These e-mails included the names of third parties who were not members of the Panel. At the request of the individuals  concerned, and of the Panel Secretariat, the material has been redacted to remove references to these individuals."

Further reading

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Operation DeathEaters: Anonymous calls for activists to help expose international paedophile networks 

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Westminster child abuse dossier: Geoffrey Dickens also gave copy of file to top prosecutor Sir Thomas Hetherington - so why did DPP fail to act on evidence of paedophile ring?

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