Support for Survivors

Our Safeguarding Office is a safe point of contact for survivors and victims of abuse within the Catholic Church. We support survivors who were abused when they were children and those who have been abused as adults. We recognise that speaking out about abuse may be very difficult and distressing and all calls will be dealt with professionally and with sensitivity.

How to contact us

By phone – 0161 817 2206 or 07338 991964 or 07435 785957

By email – safeguarding@dioceseofsalford.org.uk

By post – Safeguarding Department, Cathedral Centre, 3 Ford Street, Salford, M3 6DP.

In person 

What you can expect when you contact us
  • Kirstie our Safeguarding Officer will give you space to share your story and time to talk at your own pace.
  • It is up to you what and how much you share depending on what you are comfortable with.
  • They will listen in a way that is non-judgemental and built on a foundation of respect for you and how you feel.
  • They may ask you some questions but this is only so they can better understand your experiences.
  • They will talk with you about different support options available.
  • They will let you know what will happen next and arrange a time to contact you again to give you feedback or an update.

We refer all disclosures of abuse to statutory agencies (Police, Children’s Services and / or Adults’ Services) in line with the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency guidelines. We do this to protect other children and adults from harm. Even if you were abused a long time ago, your abuser may still be working with children or adults, and we want to make sure they are not at risk. Any referrals to statutory agencies will be made in discussion with you and you will be able to choose whether or not you consent to a police investigation. Click here to read more in our Management of Concerns and Allegations Policy.

Our Commitment to Survivors

We are aware that talking to someone who works for the Diocese of Salford about abuse you experienced within the church may feel daunting or you may not feel that you can trust us.

Please be assured that everyone who works in the Safeguarding Office has made a commitment to survivors of abuse and are dedicated to ensuring that you are heard, and that children and adults are kept safe.

If you don’t yet feel ready to talk to us just yet…

…that’s totally ok. It can take time to feel comfortable to talk about abuse and only you will know when the time is right. When you do make contact, we’ll be here to listen and support you. Until then, there are a number of other organisations who provide support, advice and guidance to survivors and victims of abuse, including the Healing through Community Project run by Survivors Manchester and Greater Manchester Rape Crisis Centre.

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 loved 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

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused by someone in the Church or as a result of their relationship with the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales.

Safe Spaces Poster

Safe Spaces A5 Leaflets

Safe Spaces Leaflet 3 Way Leaflet

Safe Spaces Tear-off Poster

Other organisations
  1. Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors  – MACSAS supports women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church.
  2. Grief to Grace  UK –   Healing the wounds of abuse – Founded in Pennsylvania in 2006, Grief to Grace now ministers in several diocese in the USA, in Canada and in Kingston, Jamaica. With the support of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, The Most Reverend Peter Smith, the programme was first piloted in the UK in 2011 and established as a UK charity in 2014.
  3. The Survivors’ Trust  – The Survivors Trust (TST) is a UK-wide national umbrella agency for 130 specialist organisations for support for the impact of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse throughout the UK and Ireland.
  4. One in Four –  Supporting people who have experienced child sexual abuse and trauma
  5. NAPAC  – the National Association for People Abused in Childhood offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  6. ICAP – (Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy)
    is a charity providing counselling and psychotherapy. Talking with a trained and experienced professional in a safe, confidential, non-judgemental space can help people understand the causes of their distress and pain.
Listening with Love to the Word of God

In conversation through hurting, healing and hope

The Let’s be Honest Group was approached by the Bishops’ Conference to provide some material for Lent 2021. From the beginning, it was recognised that the opportunity to invite people to reflect on the impact of abuse on individuals, and the Church. should not be limited to a particular time and that the resource could be for use at any time.

After an initial discussion about looking at scripture and how it might be reflected upon, as well as how to link the sessions, the members of LBH asked survivors to prepare the resource. The survivors identified the themes and decided that, in conversations the voice of the survivor could be heard. Therefore, using scripture and recorded conversations each session reflects upon the impact of abuse. Participants are invited to listen and reflect.

At the end of the six sessions there is an opportunity to reflect on what has been heard and what it means for the local Church.

Click here to find out more.