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16 May 2024 | Podcasts | Article by Alan Collins

The HJ Talks About Abuse Podcast


This is the home of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast. We hope that you feel like this is a safe place where you can learn about issues surrounding sexual abuse. We are lawyers so the podcast tends to focus on the legal aspects of the topics we look at, but we aren’t shy to speak out about the broader issues too.

We will cover a variety of topics, but if there is something that you feel we need to cover, please do get in touch and we will consider covering it in a future episode.

Listen now

Listen to the latest episodes of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast using the player below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify or Google to listen to the entire back catalogue of episodes.

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Episode 252: Unveiling the Dark Side – The Case of the Disgraced Vicar

In this episode, Alan Collins, the head of the abuse team, along with his colleagues Kathleen Hallisey and Hannah Hodgson, delve into the unsettling case of Reverend Julian Wheeler, a former Church of England clergyman recently convicted of sexually abusing two altar boys.

We discuss the legal concept of vicarious liability and its implications for organisations in cases of abuse. This episode highlights how the misuse of power by individuals in positions of authority, such as priests, can lead to severe consequences for victims. We also explore the broader issues faced by survivors, including the impact of mandatory reporting and the complex dynamics within faith communities that can hinder justice.

Join us as we examine the importance of safeguarding, the challenges of mandatory reporting, and the profound need for support and empowerment for survivors of clergy abuse. We hope this discussion not only informs but also encourages those affected to come forward and seek help.

Episode 251: A necessary dialogue – Abuse in the navy

In this insightful episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast, the host Alan Collins, partner at Hugh James, and his colleague Danielle Vincent come together to discuss the pressing issue of sexual abuse allegations within the Royal Navy. This frank dialogue is sparked by recent media coverage around a whistleblower, Sophie Brook, a former Royal Navy submarine naval officer, who courageously brought to light the inadequate handling of her own sexual abuse allegations.

Alan and Danielle explore the unique dynamics within military institutions, struggling to differentiate between initiations and inappropriate, harmful behavior. They delve into the complex world of the armed forces, a historically male-dominated environment, and the challenges that survivors of sexual abuse face in this context. The hosts underscore the need for transparency and independent report handling in the armed forces. Furthermore, they highlight the negative implications these issues could have on recruitment and the lives of promising service people.

Join Alan and Danielle as they examine the closed world of the military, highlighting experiences that have led to significant change, and call for greater action to ensure the safety and dignity of all service people.

Episode 250: Northern Ireland Redress Scheme Closing 2 April 2025

In this episode of the HJ Talks About Abuse podcast, the hosts, Alan Collins and Danielle Vincent discuss the Northern Ireland redress scheme. This scheme was established as compensation for adults who suffered abuse while they were children in the care system in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995. The scheme was initiated by the UK parliament on the basis of several recommendations. The Redress Board in Northern Ireland administers this compensation scheme.

Danielle and Alan delve into why they decided to discuss the Northern Ireland redress scheme in this podcast episode. They share their experiences working on the scheme for almost two years, emphasising on the significant settlements they achieved for their clients. Danielle illustrates how these cases often involve large families, shedding light on the pervasiveness of abuse in the care system.

They stress on the importance of awareness around such schemes. Alan points out that several individuals eligible for these schemes often miss out due to lack of knowledge about them. They urge organisations working with abuse survivors to be well-informed about these schemes to inform those who could potentially apply. The conversations emphasise the need for wider publicity, education, and training for the success of such schemes.

The hosts also share their experiences working on redress schemes globally, including the Jersey, Lambeth and in Australia. They explain how such schemes often offer survivors more accessible justice compared to court proceedings. In the concluding segment, they highlight that the deadline for the Northern Ireland redress scheme is approaching, advocating for survivors, or their family members to apply if eligible.

The hosts encourage listeners to contact them should they have any questions about the podcast or need assistance applying to the scheme.

Key contributors

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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