Woman raped as a girl by priest calls for funding for victims

Woman raped as a girl by priest calls for funding for victims

A woman who said she was raped by a priest while living at a children’s home has called for the Catholic Church to make a fund for survivors of abuse.

Sue Tinson, who remembers being raped repeatedly in Portsmouth throughout her childhood, wants the Church to pay for any therapy victims might need.

She called it a “gift that the Catholic Church can give to survivors”.

A spokesperson for the Church said Victim Support could provide free services to those affected.

Ms Tinson said she was sexually abused by Father Wilfred Baldwin, who scared her into thinking if she did not do what he said, she would go to Hell.

Father Baldwin died in 2006, but was the subject of a groundbreaking legal case in 2011, brought by another woman who said she was raped in the same church of the Sacred Heart in Waterlooville, Portsmouth.

Under English civil law, people abused in childhood have until they are 21 to take legal action against their abusers.

Ms Tinson withdrew her claim against the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth after its lawyers argued she was “out of time”.

Ms Tinson is among many survivors who want the time-bar abolished, as it has been in Scotland.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse found that between 1970 and 2015 the Church received more than 3,000 complaints of child sexual abuse against more than 900 individuals.

Ms Tinson, who waived her right to anonymity, told the BBC she underwent 10 years of “painful and intense” therapy, which she had managed to pay for herself.

She said a fund would “give them the opportunity to start their journey to heal”.

In a statement the Diocese said it had heard the allegations with “great sadness”.

It added it condemned “all forms of abuse”, and had implemented “robust safeguarding procedures”.

It recommended Safe Spaces, run by Victim Support, which it part-funds.

The scheme provides support for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales, or the Church in Wales.

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