Islington Survivors Network faces collapse if it doesn’t get urgent financial help
- Credit: Archant
Islington Survivors Network – the group which helps people who were raped and tortured in Islington care homes – could face collapse if it doesn’t get urgent financial help.
It takes on casework of people who were abused during the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. But it relies entirely on donations and is down to its last £600.
Dr Liz Davies, the whistleblower who exposed the scandal in 1992, leads Islington Survivors Network. She told the Gazette: “We have had very few donations – £2,500 since we formed 18 months ago.
“We don’t have to pay for office space, and we don’t employ anyone, but we do pay a lot of expenses.
“A lot of Islington survivors now live outside London. When they come to see us, and lawyers, we pay their travel fare and sometimes for overnight stays.”
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A cash injection is vital, Dr Davies explained, at a time when Islington Council has just appointed a top lawyer – Sarah Morgan QC – to investigate ex-mayor Sandy Marks’ alleged pro-paedophile past.
She said: “We are at a very critical time. We need to prepare a lot of documentation for the new QC and police investigations.
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“So far, 80 abuse survivors have come forward. We are now getting about six a week. Each one of these has to be contacted and spoken to. We need help.
“If we don’t get funding, I don’t see how we can provide the evidence that’s needed.”
Dr Davies added: “No one’s paying us. Everyone else in this story is getting paid, but what’s the point in what we’re doing if they don’t get our evidence?”
One survivor, Mandy, was moved between Highbury homes in Conewood Street and Highbury Crescent in 1980. She was eventually transferred to Gisburne House in Watford – where Islington kids were routinely terrorised – for three years.
She said of Islington Survivors Network: “Having Liz to talk to, someone who actually wants to help, who understands and believes us, is very important. The network has also been very good for me as I have been reunited with other survivors who I spent time with in the care of Islington.”
Another survivor said, on condition of anonymity: “If there was no Islington Survivors Network I would be totally isolated, cut adrift, with no one else who could possibly relate to the sometimes unbearable pain I feel inside.”
A fellow anonymous survivor said Dr Davies’ network has allowed her to see “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“We as a collective,” she said, “stand strong together seeking answers and validation for the misery of neglect and abuse we suffered as vulnerable, voiceless children.
“It is vital that we continue to receive funding to help support our cause. At last we may see a light at the end of a very long, dark and lonely tunnel.”
To donate, click here or email Dr Davies on firstname.lastname@example.org.