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Abuse survivors appeal for help with legal costs so they can fight for compensation

PUBLISHED: 11:44 02 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:44 02 August 2018

Dr Liz Davies with the Islington Survivors Network website. Picture: Ken Mears

Dr Liz Davies with the Islington Survivors Network website. Picture: Ken Mears

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Survivors of abuse in Islington’s children’s homes are crowdfunding legal costs for a possible court case against Islington Council – in case it refuses the compensation scheme proposed by their lawyers.

Dr Liz Davies with the Islington Survivors Network website. Picture: Ken MearsDr Liz Davies with the Islington Survivors Network website. Picture: Ken Mears

The Islington Survivors Network (ISN) is working with Leigh Day Solicitors to get justice for the trauma caused by the rape and torture of kids over decades in Islington’s homes, which was exposed in 1992.

The council is currently a considering a redress scheme submitted by ISN in November 2017, but the network has decided to raise cash for a legal challenge in case it gets rejected. As of yesterday (Wed) the crowdfunder had raised more than £1,430, nearly halfway towards its £3,000 target, with 13 days to go.

Dr Liz Davies, the original whistleblower on the scandal, said: “There is an urgency for funding as the survivors have waited long enough – some since the 1960s and 1970s.” Dr Davies, who founded the ISN and started the crowdfunding campaign, added: “A redress scheme would be in the survivors’ best interests.” There is a precedent in Lambeth’s response to its own historic child abuse scandal.

Islington Council leader Richard Watts, apologised to the survivors in September and said the town hall accepted culpability for what happened.

Cllr Watts, who stressed the council today is a different place from when the abuse took place, told the Gazette: “The council has already compensated a number of survivors for the abuse they suffered, and will of course continue to compensate survivors in the future. We are currently reviewing the best way of dealing with compensation claims.”

ISN’s lawyers believe a redress scheme is the best way forward, as it would save survivors the distress of pursuing individual cases. It adds a solution is urgently needed, as two survivors have died since the need for redress was first put to the council.

Alison Millar at Leigh Day said: “The survivors’ accounts we have heard are devastating. We hope the proposal for a redress scheme is agreed by Islington Council.

“The ISN is organised by volunteers and so far more than 120 survivors have come forward.”

The council urged survivors to e-mail survivorsupport@islington.gov.uk. Visit crowdjustice.com/case/islingtonsurvivorsnetwork to donate to the legal fund.

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