THE abuse of vulnerable young people is a wretched aspect of our society.

Many of the incidents we hear about are historical but all make us wonder if it is still happening.

Sports clubs, children’s homes and churches have been contexts for serial sexual predators to affect too many young lives.

Whatever the context there are several common factors.

Those now named, shamed and imprisoned have been in positions of power with influence over many young people with career aspirations.

They have used that power to evil advantage.

What aspiring footballer is going to expose his coach, what young man with a church career ahead of him is going to condemn his bishop?

Worst of all who can those in children’s homes turn to if the establishment supposing to care for them is rotten?

Thank goodness those who were wretchedly ill-treated are now coming forward.

We are hearing about events at the end of the 20th century.

We must learn from these and get the 21st century right.

The first thing we must do is to put the alleged victim first, not the institution.

I suggest there have been too many cover-ups.

The case of former Bishop of Gloucester Peter Ball could have been protected by the then Arch Bishop George Carey.

In this case victims did not receive the consideration and support needed.

I feel sorry for Chelsea Football Club.

No-one at the current club worked when their chief scout was abusing young players and it is the present club that will face compensation claims but others were there and I suspect knew what was going on.

Now there are safeguarding measures everywhere and rightly so but the only way to eliminate such vile behaviour is for all of us to be vigilant and if need be fearless.

I also suggest no-one is publicly named until proved guilty.

Sir Cliff Richard, Leon Brittain and Ted Heath have been ill served by clumsy investigations.

The post Jimmy Savile era has been full of faults.

It will take all of us working together to get matters right.

For the sake of the vulnerable among us we must succeed.

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