Resources for Victims and Survivors
Thank you for choosing this resource page
We welcome contact from anyone hurt by abuse, whether that be through your experience within the Church or elsewhere. As a Diocese we want to improve the way in which we engage with survivors and provide a good and compassionate response. We are here to listen to you and offer support.
In his prayer intention for March 2023, Pope Francis prays for victims of abuse and says the Church must serve as a model of safeguarding and offer safe spaces for victims. A video showing the Pope’ prayer intention can be found here
The safeguarding coordinator is available as a point of contact for survivors and can be contacted either by email, letter, telephone or arrangements made to meet in person or online. You may also wish to make contact with a parish local to you, whether that be with the safeguarding representative or member of the clergy. Details of further support are included as part of this resource page, in particular the independent support that is available through Safe Spaces.
This resource page highlights further important aspects of survivor engagement including our local Healing and Reconciliation group and the A Time to Listen initiative, by which appointments can be made to meet personally with Bishop David Oakley.
Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused through their relationship with either the Church of England or the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Although the churches have funded the service, it is run independently by the charity First Light. If you have been affected, however, long ago, Safe Spaces can provide you with support.
A telephone helpline (0300 303 1056) is available between 9am and 9pm from Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm on Saturdays and 1pm to 5pm on Sundays. Email enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHAMPTON HEALING AND RECONCILIATION GROUP
The Healing and Reconciliation group is a sub-group of the Safeguarding Advisory Board and was formed in early 2019 as part of the Diocese’s aspiration to improve the way that we respond to and engage with those who have been hurt by abuse.
The group aims to:
Promote and facilitate healing and reconciliation.
Provide a safe environment for those seeking comfort and healing from spiritual, emotional and other forms of abuse.
Raise greater awareness of abuse and increase understanding of its impact.
Projects so far:
A Time to Listen – Opportunities have been offered for anyone affected by abuse to speak with Bishop David in a safe and non-judgemental environment.
Towards Healing and Reconciliation – The group helped to plan and deliver a Mass in 2019 dedicated to victims and survivors of any form of abuse, their families, supporters and those affected. Photographs from the day
National Days of Prayer – We have promoted and participated in these days, which have included the input of survivors. Photographs from the prayer service in 2021.
Healing Garden – Designed and built as a place of sanctuary for survivors of abuse and all those in need of healing. The Healing Garden, created in the grounds of Northampton Cathedral, NN2 6AG is an ongoing project and open to all. View photographs from the opening and blessing of the garden in May 2022.
A Time for Hope and Healing – A four day event was held at the Catholic Church in Beaconsfield in May 2023, including an opening service led by Bishop David and a LOUDfence, which represents a visual display of support for those impacted by all forms of abuse. Watch the opening service here
Membership of the group is made up of appointed members of the Safeguarding Advisory Board and individuals who have lived experience of abuse, which may include, direct experience, as a parent, family member or partner of a person who has been abused, or a person with experience of working with victims and survivors of abuse.
Current membership includes:
Deacon Peter Collins (Chair)
Danielle Dixon (Safeguarding Coordinator)
Two survivor representative
Join Us on Our Journey
We would very much welcome people with lived experience of abuse to consider joining us in our endeavour. We value your insight and would like to be able to listen, hear and act upon your advice to help improve our response to those who have been hurt by abuse. We will be sensitive to those we speak with and not presume to know what they can offer.
If you think that you might be able to help us in our work, whether as a group member or less formally as an advisor, then please contact the diocesan safeguarding coordinator using email@example.com or 01604 723514. Terms of reference for the group are available as well as the Healing and Reconciliation Trifold
Resources from previous events supported and organised by the group:
Final Order of Service 2021 Prayer Service
Order of Service 2022 Opening and Blessing of the Healing Garden
Healing Garden How To Guide
A Time for Hope and Healing paryer card and order of service for opening and closing services
HEALING GARDEN AT NORTHAMPTON CATHEDRAL
Designed and built as a place of sanctuary for survivors of abuse and all those in need of healing. The Healing Garden, created in the grounds of Northampton Cathedral, NN2 6AG is an ongoing project and open to all. For further information please visit www.northamptondiocese.org/healing-garden
A TIME TO LISTEN
“There is a need and duty for us to listen to those who have been hurt by abuse and are suffering. It is humbling for me as the Bishop to listen to victims and survivors. We know the devastation which abuse has on someone’s life”.
Bishop David Oakley (January 2023)
Bishop David Oakley is available to meet with anyone affected by abuse, as a victim, survivor, their families or supporters, where private discussions can take place in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Bishop David ensures that he is able to meet with people affected by abuse on a bi-monthly basis or more frequently, depending on your request and can be accessed through our safeguarding office on 01604 723514 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GRIEF TO GRACE
THE ISAIAH JOURNEY GROUP
The Isaiah Journey (formerly ‘Let’s Be Honest’) is a working group of the Bishops’ Conference that has grown out of the need for a pastoral and spiritual response to the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse in the Church.
Many in the Church have been broken and their faith extinguished. The group outline that together as people of God, we seek to acknowledge the immense harm that has been inflicted. We intend not to ‘grow faint or weary or be discouraged’, but with renewed trust, we believe in God’s power to bring healing and hope, to victims and survivors, families and communities and the wider church.
Further information and pastoral resources developed through the group’s work, including to help mark the National Day of Prayer for Survivors can be found here https://www.cbcew.org.uk/the-isaiah-journey/
USEFUL CONTACTS AND LINKS
Spirituality Network: Contact Rev Canon John Udris email@example.com for Spiritual Direction enquiries.
CEOP: law enforcement agency keeping children and young people safe from sexual exploitation and abuse, use the following website to report abuse https://www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/
Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency: 020 7901 1920 firstname.lastname@example.org
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000 / www.nspcc.org.uk
Child Line: 0800 1111 / www.childline.org.uk
Stop it Now Helpline: 0808 1000 900 / https://www.stopitnow.org.uk/ – helping prevent child sexual abuse.
Hourglass (formerly Action on Elder Abuse): 0808 808 8141 / www.wearehourglass.org
Age UK: 0800 055 6112 / www.ageuk.org.uk
Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247 / www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Domestic Abuse: Bright Sky www.hestia.org/brightsky and download the free app.
Family Action 020 7254 6251 / www.family-action.org.uk
NAPAC: 0808 801 0331 / https://napac.org.uk/
The Survivors Trust: 08088 010818 / https://www.thesurvivorstrust. org/
Survivors Voices: https://survivorsvoices.org/
MACSAS: 08088 01 03 40 / www.macsas.org.uk
Samaritans: 116 123 / https://www.samaritans.org/
MIND: 0300 123 3393 / https://www.mind.org.uk/
Thirtyoneeight: 0303 003 11 11 / https://thirtyoneeight.org/
Replenished Life: https://www.replenished.life/
To contact the Police in an emergency call 999 or other enquires 101