Tackling abuse in religious communities

Tackling abuse in religious communities

Organisers: National Secular Society
Date: Sunday 17 March 2024 14:00-17:00
Venue: Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley St, Manchester M2 3J
Fee: £5 members, £10 non-members (you can join the NSS here)

While many religious organisations are an important source of support and solace for their communities, they can also offer people in positions of great trust and authority access to children and vulnerable adults.

For this reason, religious communities are frequent targets of abusers. And unscrupulous religious institutions are often well-placed and strongly motivated to cover up incidents of abuse and exploitation.

In this National Secular Society event, a panel of experts will talk about the current threats to safeguarding in a variety of religious settings, and what institutions and authorities need to do to ensure all people in all communities are protected from abuse. They will also discuss how to ensure perpetrators and enablers of abuse are held to account, and abuse victims and survivors get justice.


Richard Scorer
Richard Scorer is vice president of the National Secular Society and works as a lawyer, specialising in representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse. In his work over the last 25 years he has represented hundreds of victims of clerical sex abuse and has also written extensively about abuse in religious settings - his book Betrayed: The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis was published by Biteback Books in 2014. He has been heavily involved in the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse (IICSA).

Yehudis Fletcher
Yehudis Fletcher is co-founder of Nahamu, a think tank countering extremism and culturally specific harm in the Jewish community. She is an independent sexual violence adviser, and has been battling violence against women and girls for the past decade. She took part in the Susi Bradfield women's Leadership Program at London School of Jewish Studies and is a graduate of the United Jewish Israel Appeal's Manchester Leadership Program and the Dangoor Senior Leadership Program. She is a graduate of social policy at Salford University and is a research fellow at the University of Kent's department of religious studies. Her masters is in Religion and Theology.

Jordan Alexander
Jordan Alexander has over 20 years' experience specialising in safeguarding. He is Director of Safeguarding & Strategic Development at Palm Cove Society, a social enterprise which supports survivors of trafficking and slavery and individuals fleeing domestic abuse and forced marriage. He has worked as a Detective Sergeant in multiple police forces across the UK, leading on national and international investigations, including spiritual abuse.