A West Yorkshire MP today urged the Prime Minister to introduce 'mandatory reporting' for cases of suspected child abuse after raising the case of her constituent who suffered sexual abuse by a member of the Church of England.
Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin told the Commons during Prime Minister's Questions that her constituent 'Matthew' was "one of those very brave people who have waived the anonymity about abuse they suffered".
The Labour MP's office later confirmed that she was describing the case of Matt Ineson, a former Yorkshire vicar who claimed Church leaders failed to act when he told them he had been raped by a former Bradford vicar in 1984.
Ms Brabin called on the Government to introduce mandatory reporting, where certain professionals are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to government authorities.
She told the Commons: "The Prime Minister will be very aware of the harrowing evidence coming out of the independent inquiry into child sex abuse which could have been prevented if a mandatory reporting law had been in place.
"International evidence shows mandatory reporting doubles the number of children placed into safety when introduced.
"Will the Prime Minister commit to protect children and introduce mandatory reporting across all institutions, including the Church of England."
Responding to the question, Mrs May said: "Can I first of all say how sorry I am to hear of her constituent Matthew and the abuse he has suffered.
"Sadly what we have seen come out of this independent inquiry is too much abuse that was allowed to carry on for too long and too many people suffered as a result.
"It isn't just the case that they suffered at the time the abuse was taking place, that suffering remains to this day, and I think we should all recognise that.
"She raises the issue of mandatory reporting, and we have looked at this very carefully, indeed when I was Home Secretary we looked at this very carefully.
"There was mixed evidence as to the impact mandatory reporting has, and there is some evidence that it can lead to the genuine cases not being given the resources that they require. I don't want her to be in any doubt as to the seriousness with which this Government and I take this issue.
"We are doing our best to repair, I don't claim we can fully repair, but doing our best to repair by giving some sense of justice to those people who suffered at the hands of too many institutions, including institutions of the state, for too long."