We are really pleased with the response to our Summer Seminar which took place yesterday. We shared two new resources that were developed by our Lived Experience Group. The aim of these is to provide guidance on how to support victims and survivors of Child Sexual Abuse sharing their experiences publicly.
At MCF, the voices of victims and survivors are at the very heart of everything we do. Our CEO, Vicki Green, opened the seminar by sharing our vision that all victims and survivors are supported on their recovery journey and empowered to share their experiences in a way that does no further harm. If we are to develop services that truly meet the needs of victims we must hear what they have to say and act on it.
Our Victim and Survivor Advocate, Rhiannon-Faye McDonald, told of her own journey of sharing her experiences and why it is important to have a support system in place. She explained that she feels fortunate that she has had the support, protection and encouragement of the MCF team throughout her journey, and that she wishes all victims and survivors benefitted from the same.
We heard from our Lived Experience Group about the importance of hearing the voices of victims and survivors, but also why it is vital that we do this in the right way with the appropriate support put in place. The key messages were:
“By talking and encouraging people to talk, hopefully someone will talk earlier, rather than having years of feeling silenced and shamed. It makes me realise I am not the only one. The pressure to keep quiet was toxic.”
“Never ever be scared to intervene, you could be saving someone’s life. Do no more harm. Don’t hurt them anymore they have suffered enough, you have a duty of care.”
“The silence and stigma behind abuse allows it to continue, being given a forum to speak can help reduce that over time.”
“It is important to be able to talk things through, to be listened to and be respected. It is important that we respect each other too.”
“Be careful of the language we use, it can trigger responses from a victim/survivor.”
“The correct support must be in place. As a victim/survivor you can be so desperate to help but don’t always think of caring for yourself. So you open yourself up and can be left with your pain opened up. Sessions end with nothing else in place, you can’t just pack it up.”
To access the resources please click here.
To help us evaluate the resources please click here.