I have been abused
If you believe you might be in danger or at immediate risk of harm, please call the police immediately on 999.
If you are not at immediate risk, there are several options available to you.
If you are a child, you can call Children’s Service in Cornwall on Tel: 0300 123 1116 or email MARU. At evenings and weekends or during public holidays, call: 01208 251 300. Alternatively, if you would like to talk to somebody for support and advice you can call Childline on 0800 1111.
We understand that abuse which happened many years ago can continue to be impacting on day to day life now. No matter your age or how long ago it is that you were hurt, we treat all disclosures of abuse as if it was current, ensuring your needs are understood and prioritised throughout.
If you are not at immediate risk, but would like to report abuse to the police, you can do so by calling 101 or on the police website. Their website contains lots of advice on different kinds of abuse and organisations to contact.
If you would like to contact the diocesan safeguarding advisor (DSA), Sarah Acraman, you can do so here.
The Diocese of Truro has published a ‘survivor’s charter’, to give assurances to individuals who come forward to make disclosures of abuse that happened in a church context.
The document, called Safeguarding: Caring for People Who Have Experienced Abuse, sets out how anybody coming forward to talk about their experience of abuse can expect to be treated and the care they should expect to receive. The aim is always to give control to the person making a disclosure, supporting them to access the help and support that they feel is right for them at any stage.
Options independent of the church
The Diocese of Truro has commissioned an Authorised Listeners service from First Light to provide a facility for people who have been abused by anybody associated with the Church of England. Authorised listeners can help people to talk about their experiences in relation to past or current abuse and help people to consider any next steps and provide support. Next steps could include reporting abuse to a statutory agency, instigating disciplinary proceedings, or seeking counselling or pastoral support. If you would like a referral to this service, you can do so by contacting the DSA above) directly or via your parish priest or safeguarding co-ordinator.
Alternatively, if you would prefer to make contact directly with First Light, you can do so in one of these ways: by phone on 03458 12 12 12, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org; or via a website referral at firstlight.org.uk https://www.firstlight.org.uk/diocese-referral/.
In addition to the local support organised by the Diocese of Truro, the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church in England have joined forces to create a national service called Safe Spaces. This is run by Victim Support and provides remote support via a helpline, live chat service and website, www.safespacesenglandandwales.org.uk.
The support available is provided for as long as the survivor needs. It can include advocating for and supporting the survivor, providing information including on church and police procedures, understanding individual needs and working on support plans. If face-to-face support is also required, contact ad referrals will be made with appropriate local organisations depending on need.
The ‘survivor’s charter’, called Safeguarding: Caring for People Who Have Experienced Abuse, can be downloaded from here.
NAPAC is the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. Napac’s support line is 0808 801 0331 –calls to this number will not show up on your phone bill.
The Survivors Trust is a national umbrella organisation providing advice and support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. The trust has a support, advice and information line on 0800 801 0818.
MACSAS supports women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church. You can call their helpline at 08088 01 03 40.
First Light also provides help for people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence on Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
The Women’s Centre Cornwall rape and sexual abuse hotline number is 01208 77099. Their domestic abuse hotline is 01208 79992.
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