Secrets and Lies

The news today says that Prince Harry has returned to Canada. The Royal Family has endured a pretty challenging week or two and wherever your sympathies lie, this story will I feel run and run. In the past few days the idea of a warts and all interview with the Sussex couple has been mooted. Who knows what new insights that would bring to the surface? One thing is sure – the public exposure of the finer details of family life could be traumatic for all concerned. What does ‘no choice’ but to step back really mean?


Family secrets are pretty powerful and can conceal a whole host of issues. Our safeguarding training at all levels emphasises the power of secrets to conceal abuse or other issues. Getting to the truth of what happened, who was involved and how can be challenging. Secrets can be bound up with a sense of loyalty, however misplaced, and a fear about what might happen next. There is an inclination not to rock the boat. There is no doubt a cost benefit calculation that’s being made as I write about what story Prince Harry might tell in due course.


Today’s news also revealed plans to use polygraphs - lie detectors – in terrorist cases. The Minister of Justice spoke on TV news about their current use in domestic abuse and sex offender cases to try to get the truth about what might be going on in situations fraught with a complexity of competing desires and emotions. Not yet admissible in court, the evidence can be used to assist in risk assessment and prevention. As the church conducts its safeguarding business an enhanced ability to penetrate a wall of denial or disguised compliance would be helpful. For the moment it’s the skill of our teams that hopefully can make all the differences.

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