New Ways of supporting child abuse and sexual violence survivors: a social justice call for an innovative commissioning pathway
We are a socially diverse collective of survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) and sexual violence (SV). We have either been forced to accept a personality disorder (PD) diagnosis or have been unable to access or engage with services because of the fear of this construct. Many of us have been failed and retraumatised by state systems that were supposed to protect and support us when we were at our most vulnerable.
We are asking for trauma-specific pathways, separate from personality disorder (or any re-named personality disorder) services. As a group, we have been profoundly harmed by the application of the personality disorder construct, the ways in which services treat us because of the construct and by the inappropriate treatment pathways. As a group, we suffer from high levels of dissociation and trauma specifically related to our CSA/SV experiences. These have long been neglected because the only current provision for people like us sits within the personality disorder field. Additionally, we are bringing attention to the harm caused by current behaviourist approaches and systems that criminalise our distress rather than provide alternative support.
We call for new trauma-informed, trauma-specific pathways and services that are completely removed from a personality disorder frame of understanding, to enable people to access the support they desperately need and deserve.
Our fully researched, and referenced document gathers information from Experts by Experience and peer reviewed published research to explain the problems with current provision and lay out a vision for help that actually helps.
It is addressed especially to the people who decide what help can be offered to CSA Survivors: the Commissioners and service managers within the NHS and Social Care systems. We also call on all other practitioners who work with survivors, and other survivors and our families and allies, to read this and support our social justice call.
As survivors, we have shared our experiences with you in this report in the hope that we will be listened to and that our needs will no longer be overlooked.
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