Ulster Unionist Leader, Mike Nesbitt MLA, is calling for urgent action to help the victims of clerical abuse who fall outside the remit of the current Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, chaired by Sir Anthony Harte.
Mr Nesbitt, who is also Chair of the Committee of the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister, was speaking after attending a briefing from Amnesty International, at which victims spoke of their sense of hurt and isolation in the years since their abuse, and their pressing need for help.
He said: "The testimonies make real the depth of hurt inflicted on these victims and survivors, who were abused by those who were supposed to be there to shelter and protect them.
"The help we have in place at the moment only deals with victims and survivors who were abused in institutions. What we are saying to victims who come looking for help is, "Here is a list of buildings. Were you abused in one of them? If yes, come in, we can help.” If not, we close the door, suggesting they try the police. No one can argue that is fair. Nobody can dispute that creates "haves" and "have nots" in terms of access to help, truth and justice. It has to be fixed.
"I call on the four Ministers in OFMdFM to commit now to a parallel process to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, to offer the same service to those abused outside of the institutions. There are international examples of how this can be done. All that is required is the political will to make it happen."