I’ve got a concern about a the safety / wellbeing of a child / Vulnerable Adult WHAT SHOULD I DO? Click here for a guide to actions →
As a person who has experienced abuse, however recently or long ago, there are a range of organisations who can listen and offer you support.
Whether you feel able to report the abuse or feel that you first want to access support or to talk about your options, there are a range of contacts below.
Whatever you decide to do, we encourage you to speak to someone, whether someone you already know, your ministry team if you are part of a church or even a person at one of the organisations below. You are welcome to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, Adam Bond for advice or other options.
- You can make a report to the police about abuse that you have experienced, we would especially encourage you to do this if there is any possibility that the person who harmed you may still be in a position to harm others. Police are contactable nationwide on Telephone: 101 or in an emergency 999.
- If the person that harmed you is or was a Church of England minister, volunteer or staff member, we would encourage you to tell us so that we can take appropriate action. Please contact Adam Bond, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, on 0117 906 0100 or email email@example.com to make contact. Do be aware that another member of the Safeguarding Team may respond if Adam is not available. Alternatively, you can make a report to the police as above as they will inform the Church of England where they feel it is appropriate to do so.
- The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Information is available at www.iicsa.org.uk/share-your-experience. Victims and survivors of abuse are invited to make contact with the enquiry to share what they wish to of their experience. The inquiry is considering abuse which happened in an organisational or institutional setting, including within Church of England organisations, as well as whether abuse happening in families and the community was properly investigated. The Inquiry helpline can offer further information 0800 917 1000.
- Each police force area has a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). These centres provide advice and support to anyone that has experience sexual assault or rape no matter how recently it happened, no matter what age you are and no matter what your gender. Most centres will enable you to speak confidentially about what happened and can provide support to report to police and or access to counselling or other forms of support. Local SARC’s:
Bristol: Turn to the bridge 0117 342 6999 (24 Hour) www.turntothebridge.org
Swindon: Swindon Sanctuary 0808 168 0024 (24 Hour) www.swindonsanctuary.co.uk
Support and advice about domestic abuse is available from a variety of organisations. Independent Domestic Violence Advocates (IDVA’s) are employed by a variety of organisations and are specialists who can help you to manage risk, decide what to do next and support you to access services.
- National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 (24 Hour)
- Survive Support services for Women, Men and Children in Bristol and South Glos http://survivedv.org.uk/
- Next Link Domestic Abuse support in Bristol www.nextlinkhousing.co.uk
- Splitz Domestic Abuse support in Wiltshire www.splitz.org
Support groups and organisations:
You may wish to make contact with an organisation to share your experience, receive peer support or to talk about other types of support that are available. Some support groups are listed below.
- NAPAC – National Association for People Abused in Childhood www.napac.org.uk. Provide support to adults who have been abused in any way as children. Contactable on 0808 801 0331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rape Crisis England & Wales www.rapecrisis.org.uk. Provide support to women and girls who have experienced sexual trauma. Contactable on 0808 802 9999 12am – 2.30pm & 7pm-9.30pm
- The Survivors Trust www.thesurvivorstrust.org. Provide support to men who have experienced sexual abuse, adult sexual assault or rape. Contactable on 01788 550554 or email@example.com.
- MACSAS – Minister & Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors www.macsas.org.uk. Provide support to both women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church. Contactable on 08088 010340 Weds 7pm-9.30pm & Saturday 9am-11am
- The Lantern Project www.lanternproject.org.uk. Provide help and support for survivors of sexual abuse.
- MOSAC www.mosac.org.uk. Provide support for all non-abusing parents and carers whose children have been sexually abused. 0800 980 1958.
- Samaritans Helpline: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
The above list is not exhaustive. If you would like to access support or advice but do not see an organisation listed that you feel could be right for you, please do get in touch with Adam Bond, Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser, who will aim to find you a contact that provides what you are looking for.
What will happen if I report that I or someone else has experienced abuse?
Understandably, many people find it difficult to tell anyone about the abuse they have suffered. It may be many years after the event before a disclosure is made, perhaps when the victim and/or Survivor is an adult. Even if the abuse occurred many years ago, the Church will still act. Tell someone about the abuse. You will be listened to and what you have to say will be taken seriously.
You can choose to whom you talk. You can contact the local Police or the Local Authority Social Services child or adult protection team and/or the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or Parish Safeguarding Officer.
It is the policy of the Church of England to inform statutory authorities (Police and Local Authority Social Services) that abuse has been alleged, if there is a risk that others may continue to be at risk of abuse and to make sure that past abuse is properly dealt with. We recognise that this may be difficult for survivors and victims of abuse and will do what we can to support you, however we have a duty to ensure that we do all we can to prevent abuse from happening again and we need to work alongside statutory agencies to achieve this.
The Diocese of Bristol aims to create communities of wholeness with Christ at the centre. Our church communities need to be places where all are safe and protected from abuse, all can be healed and all can live life to the full.
As a diocese, we seek to provide effective safeguarding training, support, advice and policies so that children, young people and vulnerable adults are safe from abuse in the life of the Church and their wellbeing is enhanced.
Diocesan Safeguarding Team
The Diocesan Safeguarding team is available during office hours. If you need to access urgent support out of hours, please contact CCPAS on 0845 120 4550. Full details about who to contact, in what circumstances and how, about Safeguarding issues – Click Here
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Diocesan Safeguarding Caseworker
Nick Papuca (Tue, Wed)
Team Contact Details
Tel: 0117 9060100
Revd Alice Kemp is the Diocesan Disability Adviser
Full information and contact →
Safe and Welcome Awards Scheme →
This scheme enables churches to achieve a recognised standard of welcome and integration for all into their worshipping life, including Youth and Children’s work, Safeguarding, Disability Awareness and Accessibility. It’s a straightforward and stress-free process to recognise, affirm and celebrate churches that are welcoming and safe places for all members of our communities.