As you may be aware, for the past year, Victim Support (VS) has been running Safe Spaces, a joint Anglican and Catholic Church project to provide a vital support service for survivors of church-related abuse. Although the churches have funded the service, it is run independently by the charity Victim Support, who are one of the leading charities providing specialist support to survivors of abuse in England and Wales. They work towards a world where people can feel safe in church and where abusers are held accountable for their actions.
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 Church of England, the Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales. Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence (ISVAs). They have also 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 project 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.
More information about Safe Spaces can be found on their website, which also includes a secure web referral form: www.SafeSpacesEnglandandWales.org.uk
You can contact Safe Spaces using the following details.
Phone - 0300 303 1056 (a voicemail facility is available outside of opening times).
Email - email@example.com LiveChat - via the website above.