What is the aim of the project?
We are seeking the views and expertise of adult survivors of abuse and trauma about what helps them to recover from their abuse and what they think needs to change in how society responds to abuse. We are using an anonymous on-line survey to do this. We are also holding an invitation only event (see below). From all the views that we gather, we will create a Blueprint for Change that describes what has and hasn’t helped in supporting survivors’ journeys towards well-being and identify our priorities for future change, action and research regarding how society responds to supporting adult survivors. This is the first survivor-generated and survivor-led piece of research of this kind in the UK and reflects our passion to put the voice of survivors at the centre of the discussion on “what helps?” and “what works?”.
What will you do with my contributions?
We will use anonymised contributions to write a report. This will summarise all the responses. It may use some quotes (anonymously). There will be nothing to identify individuals within the report (unless you ask to be quoted.) We will put forward our Blueprint for Change. We will disseminate the report widely and may publish parts of it in articles and through social media.
How confidential is my contribution?
We will collect all contributions anonymously by questionnaire and at our World Cafe event on 8th July. The questionnaire does not collect your name any identifying information. At the Cafe event we will not record who says what. We will report our findings anonymously e.g. 50% of survivors said the abuse had a big impact on their life. We may quote your words anonymously e.g ‘as one survivor put it, “there’s no quick fix if you have been abused.” ‘ No-one will be named in the report unless they specifically ask to be.
What if I want to put my name to the report ?
You are very welcome to request to have your name (on initials) added to the report. Some people may find this empowering for themselves and for others to know we have spoken out. If you would like to offer a comment or quotation in your name too, please let us know.
Who do you mean by survivors? Does my experience count?
We use the term survivor as shorthand for people who have experienced child abuse (of whatever nature) or abuse and inter-personal trauma as adults such as sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, bullying, political torture etc.
By inter-personal trauma we mean trauma experienced as a result of abuse of power in a relationship (e.g. abuse by a carer or family member) or by a person (including strangers, e.g. rape) or institution (e.g. abuse of trust by a professional). We don’t include trauma from random life events (e.g. car accident) as our focus is on the relational dynamic that affects our experiences and the impact they have.
We recognise all types of abuse and interpersonal trauma and make no distinction between one-off experiences or abuse that takes place over a long period. If you believe or suspect that you have been abused, your experience matters.
World Cafe Event
Is there a charge for the World Cafe Event?
There is no charge to attend the World Cafe. We hope the day will be a nurturing experience, with space to reflect, talk (as much as people want to) and also there will be some nurturing and creative activities. All will be free and lunch and refreshments will also be provided for free. We have a small bursary that can help you with travel and support costs. We will send more information when you book.
Do I need to bring anything?
You don’t need to bring anything to take part. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. All you need to do is book a place and fill in the booking form we will send you after you submit your booking. We ask about dietary needs on the booking form.
Can I bring a friend?
If you know another survivor who would like to attend, please ask them to complete a booking too and if there is space, we will send them the booking form. Places are limited so we suggest they do this as soon as possible.
You are welcome to bring a supporter if you need them to enable you to take part in the day. They will also need to book a place (they can specify that they are a supporter on the form) and we will ask them to say who they are supporting on the booking form.
Can I come for just part of the day?
Of course, if you can’t manage the whole day. There is a flow to the programme so you may find it easier to leave early than arrive late. But we will do our best to support you to catch up. You are also free to take time out or leave at any time. You probably need to take part for at least couple of hours to have a worthwhile experience.
How will my views be recorded?
There will be different ways for you to share and record your own views, through discussion, writing, drawing diagrams, symbols and pictures. There will be members of the Survivors Voices team (all survivors or supporters) acting as scribes during the event. They will check back with everyone to agree the key points to include in the record of the day and the report. Not everything you share needs to be in the report so you can make it clear during the day if there is something that you do not want to be recorded.
Is everything I say confidential?
We will collect all contributions anonymously -see above. The only exception is if you provide us with identifiable information that indicates a child or vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse or significant harm. Then our safeguarding policy applies, as we share a responsibility to keep people safe as far as we can. We will always try to discuss with you what happens next and involve you as far as we can. It is possible to report concerns anonymously. Please think carefully about whether you want to share any identifying information if there are any safeguarding concerns.
What should I expect? What will the day be like?
We hope the day will be a relaxing and enjoyable time of sharing with people who understand our experiences and share a similar journey. There will be cafe style tables where you can discuss views and experiences in small groups. Over lunch we will offer relaxing activities such as art and aromotherapy. There will be facilitators who will try to keep the day safe, relaxed and caring. You will not be asked to share any details about your abuse. the focus of the day is on the impact of abuse and how people and services can better respond. There will be information on sources of help and resources availble.
I will need to travel from far to attend. Any advice on nearby accommodation?
We can’t specifically recommend places to stay but the venue is close to Waterloo mainline station. Holiday / Premier Inn is available across London. You can make a weekend of it as the venue is right in the centre of the city with lots of beautiful attractions within walking distance.
Any other questions or concerns?
If you have any other questions or concerns, or we can do anything else to support you to take part, please contact us.