Healing Through Community

At the end of 2018 we launched a partnership programme with Survivors Manchester and Greater Manchester Rape Crisis. Together the three charities have worked towards the aim of supporting the development of the Diocese’s understanding of the common needs of adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Together we have created a vision and mission statement aligned with the mutually shared values. These goals will allow us to work more closely as the partnership develops.

Joint Vision

Work together in partnership to nurture healing through SAFE communities

Joint Mission

To provide tools and facilitate safe spaces that enable survivors to empower themselves to positively grow, cope and recover from unwanted experiences.

Mutually Shared Values

  • We believe in offering respect and compassion to all
  • We will treat all with dignity and acceptance
  • We hear and engage with the voices of all
  • We will make every effort to put our words into positive actions for all

Our joint Healing through Community Programme aims to provide the right vision and resources to respond and support survivors of abuse so that they can receive independent professional therapeutic support. In 2019 the Diocese committed a further 3 years funding to this project. So far, the partnership has provided assistance to over 400 survivors.

It is a pioneering initiative to provide therapeutic support to those who are dealing with the trauma and impact of sexual abuse, wherever they are in the diocese and wherever the abuse occurred. We have learned a lot about listening and giving appropriate helpful response to survivors over the last twenty years and this is a major step in the right direction where we may learn more and respond effectively.

Together with our partner charities, our shared vision of understanding and reconciliation will help us to deliver support right in the heart of our parish communities.

The project, which can be accessed by any survivor of abuse, will provide:

  • 1:1 Client Therapy Services (Emotional Support & Stabilisation) – online or face to face
  • Break the Silence (1:1 Trauma Therapy) — online or face to face
  • Group Support Services (The Safe Room)
  • Funding of Male Telephone helpline
  • Service User Forum (Expert Advisory Panel)
  • Training to frontline workers (including lay, religious and clergy) across the Diocese to support them to better aid their understanding of working with survivors, managing disclosure, and understanding the subject of sexual abuse.

We recognise that although we can bring about change ourselves, we are stronger when we use the skills of others, to build partnerships that can bring about positive change.

Speaking about the partnership Bishop John said:

“As a Church our role is to support the most vulnerable among us. There is no place for abuse in our society and the Church is no different, our involvement in this project creates further opportunities for the Diocese to meet its responsibility of support and compassion to all its parishioners, wherever they are and where their abuse happened.

Our partnership with the Survivors Manchester and Greater Manchester Rape Crisis teams is a positive step in our process of healing with survivors of abuse.”

Duncan Craig, Chief Executive of Survivors Manchester said:

“This is an amazing project and we’re so proud to be able to work on it with the Diocese of Salford and Greater Manchester Rape Crisis.

“When the Diocese approached us, we recognised it was an amazing opportunity to work within a community to make a real difference and support those who may be suffering. Our hope is that this extensive programme of support will provide the tools and space for survivors to become empowered.”

What will it mean?

The Diocese of Salford will help fund a number of initiatives to be provided jointly by Survivors Manchester and Greater Manchester Rape Crisis.

This will include funding of specialist therapists, the creation of a faith-based support group and a programme of training within the diocese.

Who is the project for?

This project is available for all survivors of sexual abuse, or those who have been affected by the abuse of a love one, wherever they are in the diocese and wherever the abuse happened.

How can I get access the project?

If you would like to access the support on offer you can call the National Male Survivor Helpline on 0808 800 5005 or contact Greater Manchester Rape Crisis on 0161 273 4500 or the Diocese of Salford Safeguarding Office on 0161 817 2206

For survivors or victims of other types of abuse, the Catholic Church has engaged in a partnership with Victim Support to create Safer Spaces.

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 of England and Wales.

Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse, and the particular issues affecting people who have had or still have, a relationship with the church.

The team are based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, but it is a national service providing remote support through our helpline, live chat service and website. Remote support is provided for as long as the survivor needs. This can be advocating for the survivor, giving them support, providing information (including information on church and police procedures), understanding individual needs and jointly working on individual support plans. If face-to-face support is also required, contact and referrals will be made with appropriate local organisations depending on need.

It is for people aged 18 or over, but the abuse can have happened at any time in the past. If support is required for someone younger, we will endeavour to find appropriate local support.

Survivors do not have to have reported the incident to the Church authorities or the Police in order to access support.

You do not need to be a current active member of the church in order to access support.

It is for people who’ve experienced any kind of abuse – this includes (but is not limited to) sexual violence, inappropriate sexual behaviour, physical abuse, financial abuse or exploitation, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour.

You can contact the Safe Spaces team using a variety of methods, according to the needs and preferences of survivors:

Phone us on 0300 303 1056 (a voicemail facility is available outside of opening times)

Email us at safespaces@victimsupport.org.uk

LiveChat with our team, or access service information, at www.SafeSpacesEnglandandWales.org.uk