The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published a report on child protection in religious organisations and settings today.
The report drew on evidence concerning 38 religious organisations in England and Wales, of varying size and character, including the Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, Judaism and others.
It said the organisations in question had "significant or even dominant influence on the lives of millions of children".
The inquiry has previously published reports on the handling of abuse in the Anglican and Catholic churches.
The report identified a range of factors that may impede the reporting and effective management of abuse allegations.
These included the fear that exposure would damage organisations' reputation or be seen as a betrayal of a community. Some organisations encouraged internal reporting, rather than disclosure to state bodies.
The report also said barriers included:
- Cultures of victim blaming, shame and honour
- Religious taboos around the discussion of sexuality
- Abuse of power by religious leaders
- Mistrust of police and child protection agencies
- Male-dominated leadership making it less likely that women and children would report abuse.
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