Peter Saunders – CEO of NAPAC (National Association for People Abused In Childhood)
Peter Saunders – CEO of NAPAC (National Association for People Abused In Childhood)
Date: Sat 14th October 2017
Location: The Warren Conference Centre, Hayes, Kent BR2 7AL.
Dress code: Black Tie
We look forward to celebrating the official launch of SOB.
#IICSA #BreakingTheCycle #BreakingTheSilence #SOB #IntrafamilialAbuse
This was my speech last week at #CityHall #MOPAC with the Deputy Mayor of Policing & Crime Sophie Linden.
They asked me to share a snapshot of my life and my current experience of the Police in response to the #MBARC Needs Assessment report & the #HMIC report which was published last week.
I wanted to speak at this event and to Police Officers (who work with victims & survivors of abuse) to make sure they understand the impact of child abuse on us as individuals and how they conduct themselves through an investigation can have a positive or further negative impact on us.
Their approach in dealing with complainants needs further work. They are listening and they are keen to improve but they have restricted resources and their approach needs to be trauma informed which takes more time, more training and more care from officers. Not every officer is suited to this work.
If I had a chance I would have the same conversation with health care professionals, social workers, the judiciary system and so on!
The whole care pathway for victims & survivors needs an overhaul & investment.
It’s needs a top level strategy to look at all the pieces rather than this silo approach that is taking place.
It’s going to take a huge investment to tackle #CSA & #CSE in England & Wales.
In my opinion if we get the future prevention, education & response right it will save us hugely in long term costs.
I’m not sure the Government and here I’m referring to all political parties really wants to understand the true scale & scope of the problem we face because of the investment that is needed. My case in point is that the Government talk about #CSE and fund that ( and rightly so) but this is just a small subset of #CSA which they glide over and don’t fund!!!
“My siblings & I have been a victims of emotional abuse, physical abuse, some of us were sexually abused within the home environment and I was groomed & sexually abused by someone outside of the home.
We all grew up in a domestic violence household – 2 in fact.
The trauma we suffered from what we experienced as children and adolescents has stayed with us for our lifetime.
We are still trying to get the right help and support today.
* I reported to the Police when I was 9
* We told social workers what life was like at home
* I wrote stories at school about life at home – you could clearly see and smell that we were neglected.
* My sister & I reported to the police when she was 16 & I was 18.
After trying to speak up to different people but not being believed; after awhile, you just shut up!
But all those feelings of hurt, anger, guilt, shame, stress affects both your mental & physical health – over time you either explode or implode – take it out the people around you or yourself or both.
We felt unheard and forgotten for decades but in 2012 we decided to share our experiences because we never thought we would get ‘justice’ – our voices heard – any other way.
We wanted to help others understand that child abuse is not their fault, that they were not alone and they could speak up too if they decided to.
I then shared my experiences with #IICSA, the matter was referred to Op Hydrant and onto the local Police force this year.
We now have an ongoing investigation into our experiences 35 years on.
So far our Police journey has been up and down in terms of being retraumatising and no appriprate support being offered.
I have researched the impact of trauma of childhood sexual abuse on the victims & survivors and have recently written a self help therapy book on this matter.
I explained the dynamics and the complexities of our family to the Police and they have gone against the insight I offered and made some decisions that have personally caused me great stress.
This was retraumatising and bought about intense feelings of anger and mistrust.
Key Issues in my opinion that need to be addressed:-
1) Trust – Survivors/ victims /complainants need to be able to trust their case officer. They need continuity of the relationship. We are 4 months into our case and we have a different officer already.
2) Importance & understanding of the subject matter – child sexual abuse #CSA child sexual exploitation #CSE is at epidemic levels in England & Wales
It not only affects the child that is enduring it but the adult the child becomes and in some cases the future generations of that child – I have seen this in my own family.
We need a lead who understands this and who will change the culture going fwds to put the complainants health & wellness at the fore of any criminal investigation.
We need agencies to work together to share info and through best practise help and support not only the victim and the families but start to change the way society percives child sexual abuse.
3) Support throughout the investigation – Look to other forces for best practise
I have undetaken training with Surrey Police whose head puts alot of emphasise on the complainants journey.
Their model is based on having a SOIT Investigative Office as well as support officer in the form of an ISVA to deal with the worries concerns and practicalities of the complainant.
The care of the complainant (welfare & legal process now) is taken care by the team work of the Police and support worker.
I have had no such support and this has impacted my siblings & I
4) Long term specialist support for non recent child sexual abuse is a must. Many orgs who offer specialist support to victims & surviviors have been fighting for years. Funding is not long term many fsce closure at any time.
The long term impact of CSA is well known so why is there no long term plan to fund organisations that do invaluable work in place?
I don’t know how we are going to achieve all the changes that ar needed when cuts are being made everywhere!!
* Caseloads are rising up to 40% across many Police forces.
* IT systems are not robust enough for info sharing across across agencies as outlined in the HMIC report Nov 2016.
* The right support is not in place
* Mental health services are not adequate
Every conversation I have had with victims and survivors and stakeholders (those that provide the serives) the message is clear all services are oversubscribed & underfunded.
The whole care pathway for victims & survivors and the way in which we deal with CSA needs major investment and change.
#Childabuse is at pandemic proportions, it always has been but now MORE victims and survivors are disclosing.
#Sports #Church #Military #Education #CareHomes #Entertainment #CustodialSettings #Schools #Scouts #FamilyHome
The list of institutions goes on & on. Not one institution is exempt!
We need to listen and learn from the past to better safeguard the future.
Children who are currently being abused need help & support right now and the #Barnahaus model seems to be working very well for this.
However victims & survivors of #NonRecentAbuse also need the right response – they have an inner child that is also in dire need of being heard, being believed and supported so that they can move on with their lives.
‘Damaged children’ grow up into ‘damaged adults’ and that can continue for generations unless they get the help and support that they deserve and need.
FINDING THE COURAGE TO TELL
All I remember is that from the age of 7 I was so unhappy at home and school. I remember being hungry, smelly, cold and unloved. I remember being told on a day to day basis how thick and how stupid I was and this was backed up by the beatings at every opportunity.
The stress we endured 24/7 was immense.
When are we going to eat today? when are we going to be shouted at today? when are we going to be hit today? who am I going to try and protect today? am I going to be abused today?
My life was spent constantly looking over my shoulder, listening to what was going on, being on alert for anything that was about to kick off. Talking when I should, being quiet when I should, having eye contact when I should, not having eye contact, crying and not crying when it was expected. No wonder all I wanted to do as a kid was to hide away and not be seen by anyone! No wonder I have trouble making eye contact with people now when it is expected.
1st Disclosure – When I found the courage to tell the 1st time through my story writing at school, I was asked if what I had written was true. When I said yes they could not believe what I had written although I was dressed in rags, I smelt of wee, I was dirty from lack of washing and always hungry.
2nd Disclosure – When I found the courage to tell the second time directly to the social workers who was checking up on us at my step mothers house. They told me that I looked well and asked how things were. I told them that the clean clothes I had on was to impress them and when they had gone I would be made to change out of them and put on my ‘normal’ clothes again. The food that they had seen us eat was for show and that we would not be fed again that day & we were hungry all the time. They told me not to make up lies and left.
3rd Disclosure – When I found the courage to tell the third time I was 15. I explained to someone the situation at home and that I needed to get out, they listened and then said all adolescents have arguments with their parents its all part of growing up. I was advised to go home and just let the argument pass.
After awhile you start to think that it is not worth trying to tell and you just put up with it until you are in aplace where those adults do not have the power and control over you anymore!
In my case it was when I was 15 1/2 and I left home a few weeks later for good and decided life on my own would be far better even though I had no money, nowhere to live etc.
This was the 1st step to FREEDOM and sorting out my life. I am 46 and I now help others sort out their lives.
Stories have been coming out in the media over the last 4 years:
Sexual abuse of children occurs throughout British society.
Abuse knows no bounds, it crosses cultures, genders, backgrounds and socio-economic groups.
It is a societal problem and we need to deal with it accordingly and with a #zerotolerance policy.
The present system of child protection was bureaucratic and riddled with prejudice and fear, and badly in need of reform.
People have been shocked by all the different abuse stories in the media but don’t realise the extent of the problem.
We talk about the different reports of abuse in isolation, let’s put them altogether and look at the bigger picture – let’s now see how huge a problem #child abuse is in our society.
ABUSERS / CHILD MOLESTERS
Abusers/child molesters are usually respectable people to the outside world who can be male or female. Abusers/child who have power in some way over a vulnerable person or group of people.
The perpetrators know that they have this power and they exploit it to get what they want. They don’t care about their victim’s needs and wants.
I would like to see a national body formed to oversee the reporting of child abuse, prosecutions, and aftercare for victims and families. For this to work it would need to be properly funded and have clear policies, procedures and governance.
Whistleblowers also need more protection to encourage more to come forward. As things stand people are unlikely to report any concerns they might have for fear of losing their jobs and their homes. Statutory reporting is a must this takes away any uncertainty in reporting child abuse.
Abusers have to know they will be found out and brought to justice. Victims must be heard and given the help and support they need.
Children of any age do not want sexual contact. They just want to be loved and nurtured in the right way and be listened to.
I was mentally, physically, emotionally, severely neglected, sexually assaulted in my home and sexually abused outside of the home. When someone took notice of me (when I was vulnerable), praised me and gave me sweets (groomed me) I liked the attention. After the sexual abuse I felt sick, I was shaking and I felt dirty and used.
All I wanted to do was to get away and scrub myself clean.
I felt stupid and didn’t want to tell anyone at home because I thought I would get into more trouble.
Many children when they do find the courage to speak up are met with anger, hostility, disbelief and more abuse!
AFTERMATH OF ABUSE – WHAT VICTIMS FEEL
I was scared of my own shadow. I constantly lived in fear of being attacked verbally, physically or sexually. It’s very stressful living like this every day.
You grow up not believing in yourself because of everything that has been said and done to you.
You either shy away from confrontation and people – you withdraw into yourself
You come out fighting – literally, especially with your peer group or with people in authority. My brothers were always in fights at school. They didn’t want to lose every shred of power and control that they still had outside of the home.
If you have tried to tell before and no one believed you and you continue to get the daily abuse, then you start to accept your lot and over time you become numb to it and you just do what you have to in order to survive.
To deal with the unspoken pain that is often driven deep inside we may turn our attention to:
This is our release from what it is we are feeling but cannot express for whatever reason.
We may suffer from one or many of the following and these symptoms may come and go during our lives or be with us all of our lives:
HOW DID THE ABUSE AFFECT ME?
My biggest light bulb moment was when I realised that my past didn’t define me and I could be and do anything I wanted. All I had to do was work hard and I would eventually get there. I didn’t expect people to help me and still don’t. I find it extremely hard working in a team and to accept offers of help. I find it even harder to ask for help.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
PRACTICAL THINGS THAT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED QUICKLY
WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS?
What is the cost to the NHS from treating mental health issues as a result of child abuse? If we invest in preventing the cause of the problem then we will cut the huge cost of treating the symptoms.
There are many people like me and organisations that want to help but these are voluntary non profit organisations who are underfunded & overstretched.
and many many more voluntary organisations that have set themselves up to help support ADULT victims & survivors of #CSA.
Everything I have done so far I have paid for myself. I am not rich just a normal person who is trying to speak up and help others in my situation.
I wrote the book ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’ to raise funds to pay for the work that I do under the ‘Breaking The Cycle™ Health & Wellness’ umbrella.
Through The Eyes Of A Child (available on Amazon)
Parenting Without Tears (can be downloaded for free www.survivorsofabuse.org.uk)
‘Breaking The Cycle™’ Self Help Book (available Autumn 2016)
‘Releasing The Shame™’ of Childhood Abuse
‘Unleashing your Inner Phoenix™’
‘Life After Abuse™’ Conference
‘Breaking The Cycle™’ Health and Wellness C.L.E.A.N.E.R.® Living Programmes.
There are many solutions for survivors out there but they don’t know about them.
They need the help but they don’t want to be labelled and may not come forward of their own accord but if they were referred they would welcome the help support and guidance from specialist service providers.
So we need proper investment to put the solutions in place and give survivors access to the solutions to empower them to live their lives to the full!
Copyright Chris Tuck Founder & Director of S.O.B. www.survivorsofabuse.org.uk
To support @itsnotok2016 you will be able to download #ThroughTheEyesOfAChild for FREE from Amazon Kindle
ON 1st FEB 2016 ONLY
Amazon Kindle eBooks can be downloaded in the following territories:
US, Canada, UK, Germany, India, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia.
So please put the date in your diary!
Please share, thank you x
The inaugural Awareness Week has been established to give an opportunity for the general public, statutory and third sector organisations to participate in a discussion about sexual abuse and sexual violence.
During the week people will raise awareness about sexual abuse and sexual violence and how to prevent it in the UK.
When is the Awareness Week?
The Awareness Week will be the first week of February every year.
This year – 2016 – will be the 1st – 7th February 2016. Where will it be? Across the entire United Kingdom.
How can I/we get involved?
If you are an individual you can join the conversation on social media following the topic hashtag and/or make contact with your local organisation to get involved in promoting awareness.
If you are an organisation you can recycle or create a campaign with the Awareness Week logo and hashtag (both are attached as images) to promote awareness of your services, prevention, support etc. As well as participate in social media conversations and involve your local media and community.
Is there a topic?
Yes. This year the topic of conversation is ‘it’s not okay’. There will be a hashtag in use throughout the week on social media #itsnotokay.
Why are we doing this?
It is important for everyone who has been affected by sexual abuse and sexual violence to be aware that as a country we will be having a public discussion about sexual abuse and sexual violence.
Perpetrators also need to know that these discussions are taking place. It is time to put the topic at the forefront of a national conversation to promote specialist services that many organisations are offerings.
The focus is going to be on the fact that all forms of sexual abuse and sexual violence are unacceptable and victims/survivors should not have to tolerate it.
There should also be adequate services to support those who have experienced it and clear guidelines for reporting it.
Is it focused towards a specific group?
No. The Awareness Week is all inclusive. We want to ensure that everyone who has been subjected to sexual abuse and sexual violence can access the most appropriate support and advice, regardless of their ethnicity, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or religion.
Who do I contact for more information?
Is there a website?
Yes the website is www.sexualabuseandsexualviolenceawarenessweek.org The website will be a point of signposting for any member of the public. If you are a registered charity providing support for individuals affected by sexual abuse and sexual violence you can provide your contact details to be included on the website.
You can also find us on:
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Sexual-AbuseSexual-Violence-Awareness-Week-844525845637828
Press & Media Inquiries
BASPCAN – email@example.com / Jonathan Picken
Migdal Emunah – firstname.lastname@example.org / Yehudis Goldsobel / 07899 814 137
NAPAC – email@example.com / Gabriella Shaw / 020 3176 0560
NSPCC – firstname.lastname@example.org / Rohini Pahl / 020 3772 9193
Rape Crisis – email@example.com / Katie Russell / 07442 499777
Survivors UK – firstname.lastname@example.org/ Keith Best / 020 3598 3898
Survivors Of Abuse – email@example.com / Diane Sealey Carrot PR ( Diane@carrotpr.co.uk ) / 07798 524846
The Survivors Trust – firstname.lastname@example.org / Sarah Cheadle – 01788 550554 or Fay Maxted – 07713 147829
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse will investigate whether public bodies and other non-state institutions have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales. Read our opening statement and the November update statement.
We will identify institutional failings where they are found to exist. We will demand accountability for past institutional failings. We will support victims and survivors to share their experience of sexual abuse. And we will make practical recommendations to ensure that children are given the care and protection they need.
If you have suffered child sexual abuse and want to share your experience then please click on the link https://www.iicsa.org.uk/
They have recently issued their interim report which can be found by clicking the link below:
It has been estimated that a million children a year in the UK suffer some form of abuse. Around one in four children are abused at some time.
Many organisations are focussed on preventing abuse, rescuing children who are subject to abuse, stopping it happening again. But one fact is often overlooked: almost all abused children grow up to become adults. The damage caused by abuse in childhood doesn’t always end in childhood.
Many adults with a history of childhood abuse can continue to suffer – from post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, depression. They have a higher chance than others of becoming involved in crime, prostitution, drugs or alcohol abuse. They can suffer from low self-esteem and be prone to self-harm or suicide.
If you need help please call the NAPAC helpline on 0808 801 0331 or check out their website http://napac.org.uk/
The Survivors Trust (TST) is a UK-wide national umbrella agency for 141 specialist organisations for support for the impact of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse throughout the UK and Ireland.
Our Trustee Board is exclusively made up of Managers and Directors of rape and sexual abuse support services. Our core aim is to empower survivors or rape, sexual violence or childhood sexual abuse through supporting and improving effective responses to survivors. Member organisations provide a range of direct services to survivors including counselling, support, helplines and advocacy services for women, men and children.
If you would like to find appropriate specialist support services please visit the TST website by clicking the link below:
‘Breaking The Cycle’™
S.O.B’s primary purpose is to empower Y the adult victim /survivor to transform your life holistically through mindset, nutrition and fitness.
Are you an adult victim/survivors who has experienced any form of the following, individually or collectively:
• Emotional abuse
• Physical abuse
• Sexual abuse
As a result of childhood abuse.
Yes? S.O.B. is here to support you.
• Educate stakeholders – social workers / counsellors / specialist support services / Government about the impact of childhood abuse on the adult and how mindset, nutrition, fitness & de-stressing can improve the mental, emotional & physical health & well being of the adult victim & survivor.
• Work with partners, carers, family members & supporters to improve their ability to support survivors.
As a survivor of all forms of childhood abuse and neglect I know how challenging it is to lead a normal everyday life. With a background in accountancy I re-trained as a health coach because of the problems I faced as a result of he abuse I had suffered. I have been a Health Coach since 2003 and have worked within the Priory Group delivering fitness programmes to inpatients. I now raise awareness about the effects of child abuse on the victims/ survivors’ mental, emotional & physical health and I am a regular speaker/presenter on TV & at national and regional conferences, & events.
The first ‘Life After Abuse’™ conference was held in London in September 2014 to positively addresses the subject of abuse, bringing together the expertise and experiences of all stakeholders involved in working with survivors.
Why this conference?
Many adult victims/survivors are in turmoil, confused and don’t know where to turn. The secrecy, shame and guilt surrounding child hood abuse is damaging to the adult victim/survivor’s health & wellbeing. Childhood abuse is such a taboo subject that it is not spoken about openly. SOB works to break the taboo and silence surrounding child abuse and created the Life After Abuse™ Conference where victims/survivors could gather in a safe place and listen to the expertise and experiences of stakeholders involved in working with survivors. By offering adult victims/survivors possible solutions to the challenges they face on a day to day basis they are empowered to make changes in their lives that in turn will improve their overall health and wellness.
About the Conference
The Life After Abuse™ one-day Conference is specifically designed to give adult victims/survivors hope together with a road map about the positive steps and help that is available to all them.
All speakers are survivors and/or professionals who work with survivors – we truly understand the challenges that survivors face.
The next conference will be held in 2016 – date t.b.c