Sometimes in life, an apology and recognition of wrongdoing is enough to help people move forward with their lives. Verisona Law’s Child Abuse team have recently facilitated meetings where two high profile organisations have apologised to individuals, in person, for trauma caused in childhood.
The first meeting was on behalf of a client who has been fostered by a family in the 1960s via The Children’s Society. During time in foster care, the client experienced severe physical and emotional abuse at the hands of the family that was supposed be providing care. After carrying the weight of this trauma for many years throughout adult life, the client summoned up the courage to confront The Children’s Society for failing to ensure proper safety.
‘Despite bringing a claim more than 40 years out of time and obtaining compensation, what the client really wanted was an apology for the years of abuse that had been endured,’ said David Hawkins, a litigation specialist in Verisona Law’s Abuse Team. ‘We were able to reach an agreement with The Children’s Society whereby their Chief Executive and their Head of Safeguarding travelled to our offices and met with our client in order to personally apologise and provide assurances that their present policies and procedures protect children in their care.’
‘The client said after the meeting that it had provided more comfort, relief and closure than any amount of compensation could ever have achieved.’
Another client was a promising youth footballer in the 1970’s, playing for the Youth Team of a major London Football Club, when he was sexually abused by the then Youth Team coach. After being instructed to bring a claim against the Club for the abuse, Verisona Law was able to reach an agreement with the Club for compensation and facilitated a meeting with the Chief Executive for a personal apology and details of the Club’s current safeguarding procedures.
‘Despite public perception, many of the people who step forward with cases of abuse are not motivated by financial gain,’ explains David. ‘In my experience, they want closure and peace from something that has haunted them for many years, which is often achieved by acknowledgment, apology and receiving assurances that every effort is being made to ensure that what happened to them will not be experienced by others in the future.’