10 Steps on How to Research Child Sexual Abuse in your area – A Rough Guide

I have been asked several times recently how to research child sexual abuse in an area or establishment.

I do not claim to be an expert but I pass on what I do.

Knowledge is power, we need to get as much information as we can and share it. The most useful thing is to produce a Timeline, and from this notes or perhaps a summary of what has happened. I will use as an example the Isle of Man blog post I have just done [3] , though this is perhaps not typical as it is a separate country with its own Parliament and Laws and I have produced only a rough Introduction article.

If even only a few  people do a basic article or notes on a town, city, area or an institution, a victim or an abuser,  it will help greatly in exposing the truth about what happened, and be a great help to others. This may take someone approximately 10 to 15 hours but you get an idea of what is happening in an area way before that.

These timelines can later be pieced together and patterns and trends of movements and methods of abusers and enablers determined. If we do this for every area, institution, and abuser we can then we get the truth out and the high profile abusers will have nowhere to hide.

Step 1 Choose your topic – A geographical area, a council area, an institution -a childrens home, a school, a hospital, a council, a church or even a particular abuser.

Step 2 Search for information on the Internet.

First for Britain I would normally check two sites.

Spotlight on abuse, [1] which has built up a newspaper archive of clippings, presumably from a newspaper archive. Unusually Spotlight turned up blank for the Isle of Man  perhaps because IOM is a separate country.

Operation Greenlight [2] has a programme called the Brain which links together perpetrators with places and newspaper articles etc., as well as a more conventional way of checking by geographical area.  Op Greenlight only had one article under Isle of Man.  This was a copy of an article from an IOM local paper.

Then find which the local papers are is an essential step. (Often local papers are owned by much larger companies and are just branded locally). Just search “local papers in Isle of Man ” or similar.  The Isle of Man had the Isle of Man Today, which is online and which appears to own the Examiner, the Courier and the Independent, which do not appear to be online. However when a local paper is found, use the search facility on their site or news archive. Search terms child sexual abuse, paedophile/s, sexual abuse, child abuse etc.

For the Isle of Man, this only went back digitally to year 2000. Other papers go back to 1995 or 1992. Most of the 60 articles I found were by this method but a few were found just on google search in national newspapers.

Step 3 These 60 articles I label with a number, date, paper, article title, and link, which put under title Links eg

[59] 2008 Jul 28 IOM Today Volante appeals against indecent assault convictions http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/volante-appeals-against-indecent-assault-convictions-1-1776062

It is extremely important that the original source is shown, then the truth of your claims can be checked by anyone. It is also common decency to give credit to someone else for their work, otherwise you are stealing their work and passing it off as your own.

Step 4 These links I then make into a Basic Timeline in date order. (Often I actually do step 3 and 4 simultaneously, for each article)  Date order eg

2002 Aug 1 IOM Today [52] Former Teacher jailed for child photographs

2002 Aug 8 IOM Today [31] Internet paedophiles warned by police

2002 Nov 28 IOM Today [27] Paedophile Dies

Step 5 Read all the articles properly in date order. It is only at this stage that some pieces of the jigsaw fit together and you can get an idea of the history of child abuse in an area.

Step 6  Extract the data and information from articles in the basic timeline to make an enhanced timeline. Information that is useful is names of perpetrators, areas where they live, dates of abuse, court cases, appeals, charges and sentences. Note also any inquiries, investigations and Reports that have ever been commissioned. Similarly note any police investigations, action, and reports. eg

1971- 1985 Richard Owen, child sexual abuser was head of biology at King William’s College  [1]

1982-85 Richard Owen, House master of Junior House and later convicted (see Dec 28 2000) of abusing pupils over this time abused pupils, aged between eight and 12 years, in his care from 1982-85 while he was house master of Junior House. Dr Paul Bregazzi, the college principal in 1985, gave Owen the option of resigning or allowing a full investigation to take place!! [Cover up] Owen resigned and set up a hosiery business in Cheadle, Staffordshire.[1]

2000 Dec 28 IOM Today [1] Child abuse teacher jailed Richard Owen at King Williams College. Richard Owen, 58, of Cheadle, was convicted last month by a seven-member jury of five indecent assault offences after consistently denying the charges. Jailed for four-and-a-half-years by Deemster Kerruish. Owen, who was head of biology at King William s College between 1971-85, abused pupils, aged between eight and 12 years, in his care from 1982-85 while he was house master of Junior House. Dr Paul Bregazzi, the college principal in 1985, gave Owen the option of resigning or allowing a full investigation to take place [cover up]. Owen resigned and set up a hosiery business in Cheadle, Staffordshire. He had a previous conviction for indecent assault in 1965 prior to his appointment at the college in 1971.[where?] Advocate Dawn Jones defended.

Step 7  More Research  If you do not have time move to Step 8. If you have time then repeat the steps 2 to 6, searching for more information for your enhanced timeline until you have enough information to make sense in notes and you can see the history, the story of what has happened. Search for any Reports and investigations if published, or if not use a Freedom of Information request on What do They Know. Check libraries for reports. Check Court Appeals if possible which contain very accurate information. Books of course are a great source of information if you have the time and money.

Step 8  Choose parts of the enhanced timeline that you think important and write this down. Tidy this all up into tidy notes, or you may have got enough information to actually piece together a story. Then write a few questions down as to what information you would like or need to know to take your research further. These act as pointers to yourself and others if they want to help out.

At this stage also  include photos and check links, categories and tags.

For the Isle of Man timeline and article the notes were not comprehensive, as I missed Step 7 -more research. (I hope others will help out and research IOM themselves.)


Richard Owen was Head of Biology at King Williams College between 1971 and 1985. He left the school when Dr Paul Bregazzi, the college principal in 1985, gave Owen the option of resigning or allowing a full investigation to take place. Owen was only convicted  in 2000 of offences from 1982-1985 [1] . Did Owen commit other offences from 1971-1982? He then owned a hosiery business in Cheadle. Did he offend in Cheadle? Was there an internal investigation at King Williams College of the abuse and the cover up By Dr. Paul Bregazzi? Did the boys receive compensation? As the school has covered up one child abuser how do we know there were not more?

Step 9 Publish yourself or get someone else to publish. This is firstly to share your information with others, and secondly the article will slowly become a focus for others who will contact you about it. Then you can build up working groups and networks. (I will gladly publish peoples research if they wish)


Step 10 Archive all the orginal newspaper articles as they have a habit of disappearing.

Use https://archive.org/ and https://archive.md/

Update your article as necessary as thoughts come to you and other information comes in.  Post on various types of social media.

To see my  finished article click on the numbered link  [3]  2015 May 25 Child Sexual Abuse in the Isle of Man  [3]  I ha ve kept both the basic and enhanced timelines separate in this article which I rarely do, to show the different stages.

Please do a timeline for an area or institution. By putting all the pieces together we get a picture of what child abuse is happening.

Please note that victims of abuse may be triggered by reading this information. The Sanctuary for the Abused [A] has advice on how to prevent triggers.  National Association for People Abused in Childhood [B] has a freephone helpline and has links to local support groups. Other useful sites are One in Four [C]  and Havoca [D]. Useful post on Triggers [E]  from SurvivorsJustice [F] blog. Jim Hoppers pages on Mindfulness [G]  and Meditation [H] may be useful.


[1] Spotlight on Abuse  https://spotlightonabuse.wordpress.com/

[2] Operation Greenlight  https://theneedleblog.wordpress.com/operation-greenlight/

[3]  Cathy Fox Blog 2015 May 25 Child Sexual Abuse in the Isle of Man https://cathyfox.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/child-sexual-abuse-in-the-isle-of-man/

[A] Sanctuary for the Abused http://abusesanctuary.blogspot.co.uk/2006/07/for-survivors-coping-with-triggers-if.html

[B] NAPAC http://www.napac.org.uk/

[C] One in Four http://www.oneinfour.org.uk/

[D] Havoca http://www.havoca.org/HAVOCA_home.htm

[E] SurvivorsJustice Triggers post http://survivorsjustice.com/2014/02/26/triggers-what-are-they-and-how-do-we-work-through-them/

[F] SurvivorsJustice Blog http://survivorsjustice.com/

[G] Jim Hopper Mindfulness http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/

[H] Jim Hopper Meditation http://www.jimhopper.com/mindfulness/#cultivate

This is all written in good faith but if there is anything that needs to be corrected please email cathyfox@bigfoot.com

cathyfox the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free


About cathy fox blog on Child Abuse

the truth will out, the truth will shout, the truth will set us free...
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27 Responses to 10 Steps on How to Research Child Sexual Abuse in your area – A Rough Guide

  1. Mr. Militant Negro says:

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