A new support service is helping victims and survivors of child sexual abuse aged 13 and over to cope with their experiences and improve their mental wellbeing.
The Survivor Support Service has been commissioned by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping and delivers specialist emotional and practical help and advocacy for those harmed by child sexual abuse which took place in an institutional setting or those who reported child sexual abuse to a person in authority and was ignored or disbelieved.
A national inquiry is currently underway by the Independent Inquiry for Childhood Sexual Abuse (IICSA) to examine the way in which children’s homes and institutions in Nottinghamshire and elsewhere in England and Wales failed to protect children from abuse in the past.
The IICSA is due to hold a preliminary hearing in London on January 31. Victims and survivors who are affected by the preliminary hearing are urged to contact the Survivor Support Service, whose experienced specialist support workers can offer immediate help.
Help provided is completely confidential and victims and survivors do not need to report the abuse to the police or be involved in IICSA to be supported by the service.
Mr Tipping said: “The recovery and wellbeing of survivors of non-recent abuse is a top priority and this service ensures victims receive the specialist psychological and practical help they need to cope with day-to-day life and improve their future health and wellbeing.
“It is vital abuse victims feel they are listened to, taken seriously and supported and that robust action is taken. Alongside this important national inquiry, we owe it to all those who have suffered to provide the full range of help and assistance they need to rebuild their lives and improve their coping strategies as part of a lifelong recovery process.”
The Survivor Support Service, which is delivered by Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services (NSVSS), has already helped more than 30 victims and survivors to improve their daily lives and emotional wellbeing by gaining greater choice and control over all aspects of their daily lives. Examples of help provided include developing coping strategies to manage difficult situations, building confidence to manage everyday appointments and activities, debt advice and gaining access to substance misuse support.
The service works with other agencies including housing, social care and substance misuse recovery services to improve the multi-agency response to survivors. Importantly, police and partners recognise the need to engage with victims and survivors to ensure they have a voice and services are better placed to meet their needs.
David Hollas, Chair of the Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Group, said: “Following the announcement that the IICSA is to consider the extent of Nottinghamshire's authorities failures to keep children safe in their care, survivor groups and authorities have worked hard together to put in place therapeutic and counselling services amongst other initiatives in order that those abused whilst in care can begin to rebuild their lives. We acknowledge the joined-up support and commitment that is now in place for all victims of sexual violence.'
Novlet Holness, chief executive of Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services, said: “The Survivor Support Service provides much needed support to those who have been affected by institutional childhood sexual abuse. We are here to help to empower individuals to gain greater choice and control in their lives. NSVSS is pleased that funders have recognised this need.”
Victims and survivors can self-refer to the service by calling 0115 9508713 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information is available on NSVSS’s website at: https://nottssvss.org.uk/how-we-can-help/survivors-support-service/
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Wednesday 31st January 2018