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  1. ITV Report

Theresa May warns sex abuse claims are 'tip of the iceberg'

Theresa May said child sex abuse is 'woven, covertly, into the fabric' of British society. Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

Child sex abuse allegations made against public figures are just "the tip of the iceberg", according to Home Secretary Theresa May, who also claimed that such abuse is "woven, covertly, into the fabric" of British society.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph Mrs May said the public are yet to grasp the full scale of the scandal which, she said, "will lead into our schools and hospitals, our churches, our youth clubs and many other institutions that should have been places of safety."

In my discussions with older victims and survivors and their representatives, I began to realise how abuse is woven, covertly, into the fabric of British society.

During one of my first meeting with survivors, one lady said to me: 'Get this inquiry right and it will be like a stick of Blackpool rock. You will see abuse going through every level of society.'

I fear she is right. I have said before and I shall say again, that what we have seen so far is only the tip of the iceberg.

– Home Secretary Theresa May

Mrs May added she felt a Parliamentary inquiry into historical abuse was a "once-in-a-generation" chance to uncover institutional abuse, which she called "the darkness in our midst".