The Loudoun Trust was launched at a meeting in the House of
Lords in November 2012. This followed several years of consideration
by a group of professionals who either worked with child sex abusers
or were interested in promoting greater understanding of the
problems of the sexual abuse of children.
From the hundred or so of those attending, a group of a dozen was
selected to act as Trustees. Funding was provided by Richard Astor,
the son of David Astor who had originally suggested such a body
prior to his death in 2001. The Trust continues to honour David
Astor for his initiative in suggesting that the Trust be formed and
his son Richard who continued the work of his father.
The Trustees attach considerable importance to the independent nature of
the Trust. It is answerable to no-one, but only to the truth. All
the trustees have professional attachments with bodies which have
their own policies. Publications and opinions by Loudoun Trust
members are independent of such bodies and should not be seen as in
any way associated with any other professional or charitable
organisation. The Trust functions on a voluntary basis and relies
for funding on voluntary contributions.
Specifically, the objects clause in the register of charities states that
the trust is set up “To advance education for public benefit about
paedo-sexual offending (sexual crimes against children)”
Although the objective of the Trust is to provide reliable educative
material so that professionals and the public at large may better
understand the root causes of child sex abuse, the creation of the
Trust coincided with the publication of the details of the Jimmy
Savile affair. This inevitably led general discussion in Parliament
and the Press to consider child sex abuse in the past, whilst the
Trust’s desire is to consider the future. For this reason, the Trust
is taking little part in the current inquiries, except in so far as
the Trust is of the opinion that the pressures upon those inquiries
may be causing them to deal with specific criminal cases without
fully exploring the causes of sex crimes against children. The Trust
believes that it may help in that area of any inquiry.
The Trust has recently launched a series of conversations with leading
figures in the various professionals involved in child sex abuse,
with the intention of launching a series of symposiums among such
figures on the general topic of “Child Sex abuse - the next five
A debate in 2014, organised and led by the Trust, on the topic of
mandatory reporting of child sex abuse allegations, highlighted the
problems behind the amendment on that topic which was then before
the House of Lords in the Crime Bill. This amendment was
subsequently dropped and will no doubt be returned to the House in
some future bill.
The Trust is currently preparing to consider any suggested changes as a
consequent of the Home Office consultation on mandatory reporting.