Listening to and Caring for People Who Have Experienced Abuse
The Church is committed to caring pastorally for people who have lived experience of abuse and other affected persons and to continuing to learn how to respond in a supportive and healing way to the needs of those who have suffered abuse. Those who have suffered abuse within the Church should always receive a compassionate response, be listened to and be taken seriously.
Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service for anyone who has experienced abuse in relation to the Church of England, the Church in Wales or the Catholic Church of England and Wales. This could be abuse by someone who holds any role at the church or is linked to participating in a church-led activity or group.
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. You do not have to have told the police or the church authorities, and you do not have to still be involved with the church. Your information will not be shared without your consent unless you or someone else is in immediate danger
Tel: 0300 303 1056
The helpline is open Monday - Friday 9am - 9pm, Saturday 9am - 1pm and Sunday 1pm - 5pm
The Church of England National Redress Scheme
The Church is currently in the process of developing national proposals for redress which aim to include financial payment, therapeutic, spiritual and emotional support, acknowledgment of wrongdoing on the part of the Church, apology and support for rebuilding lives.
The latest update can be read on the Church of England website, here, and gives details of proposals to be debated at The Church of England's General Synod in July 2023. The Church is still developing the Redress Scheme and it is not yet open for applications. Once set up, all survivors of sexual, physical, psychological, and emotional abuse (including spiritual abuse) relating to the Church will be eligible to apply for redress.
More information on the Redress Scheme and links to previous updates can be found on the Church of England's Redress page here
An easy-read guide to the House of Bishop's guidance on 'Responding Well to Victims and Survivors of Abuse' is available here
‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’
... is a suite of accessible materials and resources, including a series of seven videos, to support those with lived experience of abuse in a church context, as well as with those who need to see, hear and respond well to them - families, friends, church members. The resources can be accessed here