Survivors of Abuse Conference – Peter Saunders

 

Peter Saunders – CEO of NAPAC (National Association for People Abused In Childhood)

***NEW*** SOB ‘Breaking The Cycle’ Charity Pins

 

Support SOB by purchasing one of our lovely ‘Breaking The Cycle’ Charity Pins.

The jigsaw pin signifies that as a survivor of childhood trauma from mental, physical, sexual abuse and or domestic violence our lives, our health has been broken into pieces. The abuse we suffered as children / adolescents / young adults has impacted our mental health, our physical health and our emotional health.

SOB is about rebuilding you piece by piece through its trademarked ‘C.L.E.A.N.E.R Living Therapy Programme’.

The SOB charity is part of the solution for your recovery to full health.

For a small investment of £3.00 plus £1.00 for PP and PayPal fees you can be the proud owner of the SOB pin. Wear this pin with pride and as a reminder that you are rebuilding your mental, your physical and your emotional self on a daily basis.

Someone else may have been responsible for breaking you into pieces BUT you are rebuilding yourself piece by piece to become whole again!

You are a survivor!


Thank you for your support!

SOB Trustees

West Wickham woman’s charity launch

Read the Full article here: http://www.biggin-hill-today.co.uk/article.cfm?id=115739&headline=West%20Wickham%20woman

A WEST Wickham woman is to launch her own charity with a celebratory event next month.

Chris Tuck set up Survivors of Abuse after suffering an abusive childhood. The launch event takes place on October 14 at The Warren in Hayes and will be attended by the Coronation Street actor Chris Harper and his wife, the actress Emily Bowker.

Chris, who sits on the panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse originally set up by Theresa May, says her charity will work holistically and offer a wellness programme to “empower adult survivors to heal and fulfil their potential”.

She says: “There is so little help available to survivors in spite of the fact that the subject of abuse is in the media daily.

“We know in our dealings with GPs that they struggle to know what to offer patients who start to open up about their childhood abuse – something that is becoming more common as people feel more able to talk about the subject.

“Limited counselling often has a wait list of several months and then is confined to a short series of sessions. In short we are failing these people.”

Introduction to the C.L.E.A.N.E.R. Living Health & Wellness Therapy Programme – 11th October 2017

Date: Wednesday 11th October 2017 Time: 10.30 am – 2 pm
Please arrive 10mins before workshop starts.

Location: One in Four, 219 Bromley Road, Catford, London SE6 2PG

Who should attend?

Men & Women aged 18+ who want to take the next step in their recovery to full health & wellness.
What the workshop covers:-
This FREE workshop will look at the nature, causes, and impact of stress on your mental and physical health.
Participants will leave the workshop with a practical toolkit of techniques to manage their everyday and long term stress.
This workshop also includes a 45min Pilates & Relaxation session.

How to book: Please email admin@oneinfour.org.uk to book your place.
There are 10 spaces available.

One in Four workshops

SOB is working collaboratively with the Charity One in Four in Bellingham to deliver workshops for victims and survivors to empower them in their recovery to health and wellness.

The Sept 2017 Workshop is now full.

The next workshop is Weds 10.30am to 2pm in Bellingham – if you would like to join us please email One in Four admin@oneinfour.org.uk

Workshop now full

The Breaking the Cycle Health and Wellness C.L.E.A.N.E.R. Living Therapy Workshop that I am running for One in Four Thurs Sept 14th 2017 1 to 4.30pm is now FULL.

The next workshop is Weds 10.30am to 2pm in Bellingham – if you would like to join us please call One in Four on 020 8697 2112.

I am really looking forward to meeting all the attendees.

Charity Launch Celebration

Date: Sat 14th October 2017
Arrival: 6.30pm
Carriages: Midnight
Location: The Warren Conference Centre, Hayes, Kent BR2 7AL.
Dress code: Black Tie
We look forward to celebrating the official launch of SOB.

Book your tickets now!

Join us for our celebratory event. Love, Life & Laughter after childhood abuse.

Celebrity supporters of Survivors of Abuse

Julia Goulding
Emily Bowker & Chris Harper

#ChildSexualAbuse #CSA

#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.

THE LOW DOWN ON CHILD ABUSE #CSA by Chris Tuck Founder & Director of S.O.B. – www.survivorsofabuse.org.uk

 

‘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.

  • Any incident of abuse will make the victim feel powerless and not in control.
  • It will make them feel ashamed and silly that they put themselves in a position to be abused in the first place
  • They will have an overwhelming urge to tell but for many reasons may not have the courage to.

 

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:

  • Abuse in the church
  • Abuse in the care system
  • Abuse with celebrities
  • Abuse within the home is yet to surface but the Children’s Commissioner is doing a 2 year investigation into this. At the end of Year 1 the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield released a report stating that 7 or of 8 child victims/survivors have not been identified yet. http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/news/only-1-8-children-who-are-sexually-abused-are-identified-professionals

 

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

Or

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:

  • Food either overeating (binge eating/bulimia) or under-eating (anorexia)
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Exercise
  • Self Harm
  • OCD (your best is never good enough so you re do it and re do it)

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:

  • Low self esteem/anxiety
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Self harm/suicidal tendencies
  • Drug/alcohol addiction
  • Sexual issues and relationship problems
  • PTSD
  • Struggle with everyday life

 

HOW DID THE ABUSE AFFECT ME?

  • I was abused in the home and bullied at school. This affected my school work, I couldn’t concentrate mainly because of the hunger and I missed vital developmental stages in my education by not being allowed to do my homework and not being in school whilst in Wales.
  • I covered up my body in baggy clothes as much as I could even up til my late 30’s. I only started wearing dresses and makeup about 18 months ago because I do not like drawing attention to myself.
  • I could not look people in the eye – it was very uncomfortable for me to do so because of the abuse I suffered when I did look mu abusers in the eye.
  • I suffer from bulimia when I am very stressed.
  • I cannot have anyone walk behind me, I need to see people at all times so that I know what is going to happen.
  • Before I released my book 1/9/2013 I was fearful of of what people would think of me. I was ashamed of my background, I thought that my parents defined me. I didn’t like what they represented.
  • I cannot stand people telling me what to do.

 

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?

  • We need to acknowledge and accept that we have a huge problem on our hands and it needs to be addressed at the root cause. At a societal level with a zero tolerance policy to child abuse. Child abuse is morally wrong and is not acceptable no matter who you are or what you do. No-one is above the law.
  • We need to put victims/survivors at the forefront of all reforms and investment in this area.
  • People have been shocked as each different abuse story has hit the media but not enough to realise the extent of the problem.
  • We are told that ‘lessons will be learned’ but this is all lip service.
  • We need a major overhaul in how we deal with child abuse in this country. We need an independent governing body that deals with the reporting, prosecuting & sentencing of perpetrators and aftercare of the survivors & their families and the perpetrators and their families.
  • We need complete transparency because of all the cover-ups that have happened. Individuals like me have lost faith.
  • We need proper investment in this area.

 

PRACTICAL THINGS THAT CAN BE IMPLEMENTED QUICKLY

  • Statutory reporting (there is an Issue’s paper coming out about this shortly).
  • Educate children about normal healthy relationships, normal love and nurture.
  • Need to believe the child.
  • Educate parents especially if all they have known is abuse, we need to break the cycle.
  • Consistent and appropriate therapy for the victim, the survivor and the perpetrator.

 

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.

  • NAPAC Adult Support Line
  • The Survivors Trust
  • RASASC
  • Rape Crisis
  • The Southmead Project
  • Survivors UK
  • S.O.B.
  • ShatterBoys
  • One In Four
  • MOSAC
  • Cisters
  • Survivors Network

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.

 

Books:

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)

 

Courses/Workshops:

‘Releasing The Shame™’ of Childhood Abuse

‘Unleashing your Inner Phoenix™’

 

Conference

‘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

S.O.B Breaking The Cycle™ Live – Episode 1 Welcome