Wednesday, 3 February 2016
interview with Bishop George Bell’s victim
Today’s [Brighton] Argus carries this lengthy interview by Joel Adams: Bishop George Bell’s victim: “He said it was our little secret, because God loved me.”
TODAY, for the first time, the victim of George Bell has spoken about the sexual abuse she suffered as a five-year-old child at the hands of the wartime Bishop of Chichester.
Speaking exclusively to The Argus, she described how he repeatedly molested her over a period of four years while telling her that God loved her.
Her testimony brings new clarity to a story which has changed the world’s perception of one of the most revered Anglicans of the 20th century since news of a church payout was announced last October…
Harriet Sherwood also covers the story for The Guardian: Victim describes how she was abused by bishop George Bell.
The original Church statements on this case are here.
The Bishop of Chichester has issued the following statement following the publication of the Brighton Argus article.
Dr Warner said:
“It is testimony to her courage and integrity that the survivor who brought the allegations against George Bell has been prompted to speak out. My hope is that the telling of her story will contribute to her sense of being heard by those within and beyond the Church who are willing to listen with an open mind and respond with compassion and clarity.
“The presence of strident voices in the public arena which have sought to undermine the survivor’s claims has added in this case to the suffering of the survivor and her family. To that extent it is not surprising that she felt it necessary to take the courageous decision to speak out in public and reveal the personal details which the Church could not.
“Words of apology written in a letter can never be enough to express the Church’s shame or our recognition of damage done. However, the apology that I made on behalf of the Diocese of Chichester is genuine and a sincere expression that lessons are being learnt about how we respond to accusations of abuse.
“In some responses to the George Bell case, and to the original statements from the Church nationally and locally in the diocese of Chichester, we have witnessed shocking ignorance of the suffering felt at many different levels by victims of abuse.”