A safer future for our children
By giving a voice to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, the Truth Project is helping to bring about lasting change…
Every right-thinking person knows that child sexual abuse is a horrific crime that shatters young lives. And thanks to widespread media reports about shocking cases like Jimmy Savile, we also know that far too often institutions have failed dismally to protect children in their care from sexual abuse.
Institutions like schools, hospitals, churches… places where all children should feel safe and free from fear.
Yet time and again, it’s emerged that nothing was done to stop sexual abuse, even when people knew full well it was going on. Or that when children found the courage to tell someone in authority, no appropriate action was taken to protect them.
How is it possible that these children were failed so badly?
And how can we ensure institutions keep children safe in the future?
These are the questions being tackled by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which was set up in 2015. Its aim is to root out answers, find out what went wrong, and make recommendations for government action.
A vital part of the Inquiry’s work is gathering evidence from victims and survivors through the Truth Project. Here are answers to some of the key questions about its role in creating a safer future for all our children… What is the Truth Project?
The Truth Project is an integral part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, which is investigating how institutions failed to protect children from sexual abuse in England and Wales.
The Truth Project gives victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the opportunity to share their experience in a safe and confidential environment.
They may have suffered sexual abuse within an institution. Or they may have been sexually abused at home, by family members or others, and institutions like schools, social services or the police may have ignored the signs, or failed to listen and act appropriately when they reported the abuse.
What does the Truth Project hope to achieve?
It’s been set up to gather as many confidential accounts as possible from victims and survivors of sexual abuse. This will create a clear picture of the true scope and extent of child sexual abuse in England
and Wales. The Inquiry will use these accounts to help draft robust recommendations for government reforms to protect children today and in the future.
How will victims and survivors be able to make contact?
There are numerous ways to get in touch – either by phone, email, post or online. The Truth Project will get back to people to discuss how they would like to share their experience. This is most likely to be in person, though some may prefer to write their account, or make an audio or video recording.
Where will sessions take place? They will be held at a Truth Project location or pop-up venue that’s convenient for the person sharing their account. These have been
How were children failed so badly?
specially designed to be relaxed and comfortable, so victims and survivors will feel at ease.
How will they be supported if they share their experience? Sharing an experience of child sexual abuse may be deeply upsetting, so professional support will be available before and during the meeting. There will also be a follow-up phone call afterwards. People may bring a relative or friend with them for extra support.
There is no need for victims and survivors to provide evidence for any information they share.
Is anonymity protected?
Yes. No one’s name or details will ever be published or made public, and no contact details will be passed to the police unless the victim or survivor wants this. The only exception is if a child is currently in danger of sexual abuse.
Institutions such as a school or hospital will be named, but no individuals (such as teachers) will be identified.
If you have an experience to share, do get in touch – you’ll be helping protect children in future.
You can choose how you’d like to share your experience