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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.

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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 255: Election Promises and Child Abuse: A Critical Review

In this episode, Alan dives into the manifestos of the Labour Party, the Conservative Party, and the Liberal Democrats to examine what they have to say about child abuse and related issues. Alan provides a non-partisan analysis, focusing on key topics such as mandatory reporting laws, justice for victims, and proposed redress schemes.

Alan discusses the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (ICSA) recommendations and how each party addresses—or fails to address—them. He highlights the importance of mandatory reporting and the need for accountability in the justice system. The episode also touches on the complex nature of handling rape cases and the necessity for timely justice.

Join Alan as he navigates through these political manifestos, offering insights and critiques that are crucial for survivors of sexual abuse and those advocating for their rights. Whether you are a regular listener or tuning in for the first time, this episode aims to inform and empower.

Episode 254: A Journey from Volunteer to Director – Zoe Bell’s Story at East Kent Rape Crisis Centre

In this episode, Danielle Vincent is joined by Zoe Bell, Director of East Kent Rape Crisis Centre. Zoe shares her inspiring journey from a volunteer helpline worker to director of the center, highlighting the impactful work being done to support survivors of sexual abuse. They discuss the center’s innovative therapeutic approaches, such as walk and talk therapy and side by side therapy, and the importance of creating a supportive environment for survivors.

Zoe also talks about the Kickback Group, a survivor-led initiative providing invaluable feedback to shape the services offered at the center. Additionally, she shares her experience of being invited to Buckingham Palace in recognition of her work in the sexual violence sector.

For those in need of support or more information about the services offered by East Kent Rape Crisis Centre, Danielle provides details on how to get in touch and access resources. Tune in to hear more about the incredible work being done to support survivors and the importance of having their voices heard.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please visit our website or contact us directly. Thank you for listening.

Episode 253: Female Teacher’s Abuse – Unpacking the Case of Rebecca Joynes

In this week’s episode, Alan Collins and his colleagues Kathleen Hallisey, Danielle Vincent, and Hannah Hodgson discuss the distressing case of Rebecca Joynes, a female schoolteacher recently convicted of sexual offences against two 15-year-old schoolboys.

Join us as we delve into the details of the case, exploring the legal and broader issues faced by survivors of sexual abuse. Hannah provides a background on the incidents, including how Joynes groomed her victims and the subsequent legal actions taken against her.

The team also examines public reactions to the case, highlighting the disparities in how male and female abusers are perceived and the significant impact such abuse has on the victims’ lives. This episode aims to shed light on the complex dynamics of abuse and the importance of understanding and addressing these issues.

We hope this discussion is both informative and empowering, especially for survivors of sexual abuse. Tune in to learn more about this case and the broader implications of abuse by those in positions of trust.

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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