BASPCAN  (British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect) Congress opens with emotional reminder of the voices of victims                                Guest Blog by Kieran File

The 9th BASPCAN Congress opened on Sunday with an emotional account of the experiences of those who have suffered from child abuse.

Poet Jo McFarlane, herself a victim of child abuse, shared a series of poems that captured difficult experiences in her life but also the key relationships that helped her find a way through the suffering.

Students from the drama group at the University of Huddersfield provided a vivid demonstration of the experiences of children embroiled in abusive family situations, through the acting out of scenes based on Hackney Child, the autobiography of Jenny Molloy.

Organisers of the congress have also commissioned several video items, in collaboration with a range of other child protection agencies that capture the experiences of children who have been on North Ayrshire’s child protection register.

These videos are to be played at the beginning of the keynote talks, as a way of ensuring young people’s voices are heard at the Congress.

Baroness Hale, the most senior women judge in England and Wales and the Vice President of the Supreme Court , also spoke on day one.

She provided an account and several case illustrations of the challenges facing judges when ruling on state intervention in cases where a child is or may be at risk.

The congress theme is New Directions in Child Protection and Well-being and it runs until Wednesday the 15th of April.

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