Improving the responses to adult survivors of child sexual abuse
This petition had 1,915 supporters
This petition is to call for action from everyone in society who cares about supporting adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA).
Help us tell the Government to take urgent action to provide funding and long-term specialist support services for adult survivors and in particular ethnic minority survivors of CSA.
Supporting survivors must be seen as a responsibility not only of the Government and statutory services but also of the wider public.
Below is an outline of the current situation:
The lack of services for adult survivors and ethnic minority survivors of CSA
- There is no clear line of responsibility or dedicated long-term, specialist support services for adult survivors and ethnic minority survivors of CSA within NHS and non-statutory services across UK.
- There is a gap between the availability and type of services from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service and Adult Mental Health Services, leaving survivors stranded at a particularly vulnerable time, which is crucial for their long-term wellbeing.
The lack of funding
- Specialist voluntary sector organisations are underfunded and cannot provide the type of services they know are needed for CSA survivors.
- Currently survivors of CSA are assessed by a specific and narrow definition of what supposedly constitutes the symptoms of a ‘real’ survivor of CSA. The concentrated focus on medicalisation and labelling of survivors is dismissive of the diverse needs of survivors (Herman J (1997) Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror).
The lack of inclusiveness
- CSA affects survivors differently, but their needs are being defined to a 'one size fits all approach' which does not take into account the differing needs of survivors e.g. cultural taboos, impact on family life, relationships, work or life experiences.
- In England there is no dedicated service for ethnic minority adult survivors of CSA (Map of Gaps 2009).
What do we want?
We call on the Government to take action to fill these gaps. The gaps should be a priority at both national and local levels and services must be integrated into existing policies and services across UK. The recovery and healing process, including disclosing CSA, making sense of the trauma is critical and cannot be done in isolation.
Specifically, we request:
1. Financial support for development of services and existing services to implement training strategies on understanding the long-term effects of CSA.
2. Specialist long-term services and access to holistic support services, in every city and county.
3. A dedicated 24-hour 7 days-a-week helpline that is inclusive of ethnic minority survivors of CSA.
4. Financial support for development of training programmes which help existing services that come into contact with survivors (e.g. A & E departments, Mental Health Services and Social Services, Education).
5. A mentoring and befriending scheme that provides transitional support during service change from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to Adult Mental Health Service or voluntary services.
All of the above five points are essential. We must ensure as a society no survivor is discriminated against by services, left unsupported or deprived of their basic human right to receive specialist, holistic support for healing, to be accorded confidentiality and protection. To have the opportunity for a healthy enjoyable life and to be protected.
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