We post articles here and also on our Twitter feed, so monitor both if you wish to be updated on the issues that are important to us and also our appreciation for the help and support we receive.
Fundraisers Rosie & Jude - Ambulance Service Workers
Update!!!! Jude and Rosie have raised a total of £680 for us! (This excludes Gift Aid which will raise even more money for CIS'ters). They have done so well to fundraise for us by running the 10k event in London on 24th September 2023. Thank you both, we are very grateful. Also, thank you to everyone for the money donated.
⇒ If you are interested in taking part in this event next year, we have 8 places available at a similar 10K event in London in September 2024. Please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
IICSA (Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse) Reports
→ IICSA Inquiry Final Report - Dated 20th October 2022 - This Report makes 20 powerful recommendations to government and other institutions.
Three of these form the centrepiece to the Inquiry’s work:
A new law of mandatory reporting making it a legal requirement for those who work in regulated activity or work in a position of trust to report child sexual abuse;
The creation of a Child Protection Authority (CPA) in England and in Wales to secure a much stronger focus on the complex work of child protection in the relevant institutions and statutory agencies;
A national redress scheme for England and for Wales, to provide monetary redress for child sexual abuse for those who have been let down by state and non state institutions in the past.
On behalf of CIS’ters, I wish to formally thank Professor Alexis Jay the Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), her panel (Malcolm Evans, Ivor Frank and Drusilla Sharpling) and also members of the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel – for all of their hard work and commitment to ensure that IICSA pursued difficult and challenging topics and overcame the barriers that were often placed to delay and cover up the true landscape of sexual abuse experienced by children. The courage of 1000s of victim/survivors, who spoke to IICSA, ensured that the true landscape of sexual abuse is now visible and undeniable.
Gillian, Victim/Survivor of Familial Sexual Abuse, Founder in 1995 of www.cisters.org.uk
→ IICSA Inquiry Report - Dated February 2022 - 'Child Exploitation Underreported with Authorities Struggling to Keep Pace'.
→ IICSA Inquiry Report - Dated June 2021 - 'Engagement with Children and Young People'
The authors spoke to 56 victims and survivors of child sexual abuse between the ages of 11 and 21, and 77 specialist child sexual abuse support workers.
'The overwhelming majority of young victims and survivors shared negative experiences of their involvement with the NHS run Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). It was said most CAMHS services did not understand the impact of child sexual abuse on a child’s emotional and mental health, and that several young victims and survivors said the service would only see them if they were suicidal.
Some young victims and survivors told us that the police had managed their privacy and confidentiality concerns poorly, which in some cases led to retaliation from people associated with the abuser. Many young victims and survivors said “the system” takes over after they disclose the abuse, making them feel disempowered and deterring them from sharing information again'.
The report also found that relationships and sex education in schools had been largely inadequate, with some children receiving no lessons on it at all. For others, the scope and quality of material covered was poor, with only the very basics being taught and little or no information about child sexual abuse.
The news item on this report can be viewed here at the IICSA website.
NHS England's Strategic Direction For Sexual Assault & Abuse Services
NHS England produced a 5 year inquiry into Sexual Assault and Abuse Services (SAAS) covering the period 2018-2023. At the outset NHS England established a Lived Experience Group (LEG) to provide input whilst the strategy was being developed and thereafter provide feedback and highlight issues. NHS England has regularly monitored progress linked to the SAAS document and also recently commenced a project to update the Strategy beyond 2023.
Statement from NHS England - 'Life long care for victims and survivors'. 'This strategic document outlines how services for victims and survivors of sexual assault and abuse, in all settings of the health and care system, need to evolve between now and 2023. It sets out six core priorities that NHS England will focus on to reduce inequalities experienced'.
Key Messages from Research on Intra-Familial CSA
Although the above research was carried out in June 2018 we felt it was still relevant and contains helpful information.
Introducing the Brave Movement Global Challenge
'The Brave Movement is a new, powerful and global survivor-centred movement to end childhood sexual violence. We envision a world in which children and adolescents grow up free from the threat of sexual violence. The Brave Movement is demanding bold and transformative action from leaders of governments and institutions to rapidly scale comprehensive programs of prevention, healing and justice'.
'You are invited to develop a survivor-centered “National Call to Action” that includes a list of agreed demands from survivors, survivor networks, and allies that are needed for change in your country. Please reach out to and include the views of as many organizations, networks and individuals, survivors and allies, in your country as possible to reflect and represent the range of experiences of childhood sexual violence'.
The Office of National Statistics' Consultation on Exploring the Feasibility of Carrying Out a Survey Measuring Child Abuse in the UK - Response Published
Overall, there was strong support to take this work forward. Responses demonstrated the importance of survey data for designing strategies to prevent and respond to child abuse, developing and providing relevant services, and raising awareness of abuse. The ONS would like to thank all respondents for their valuable feedback.
The MESARCH Project
This project is being undertaken by Coventry University and our founder Gillian is a member of the Study Steering Committee.
The MESARCH project is evaluating SARCs (Sexual Assault Referral Centres) across England. These centres provide a crisis response to victims of sexual assault and rape including a forensic examination suite and victim/survivors can self-refer to such centres. The research project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Health Services and Delivery programme (HS&DR). The project seeks to understand the work that SARCs do, its impact and where their services sit within the broader context of supporting survivors of sexual violence. The study also addresses a gap in knowledge about long term support required and experiences of survivors of sexual abuse and violence; it will enable us to answer questions about the widespread impact of violence on health and wellbeing over time, along with a range of other outcomes considered important by those with Lived Experiences of sexual assault, rape and abuse.
The MESARCH Project - An introduction.
Conference About Mapping the SARCS in England - Our founder Gillian took part in the conference.
MESARCH Project Video - Those with Lived Experience are integral to the research project and there is a diverse group of individuals who are part of the research team. This short video was produced as part of a key online conference which was held on 12th May 2021. Participants are from the Lived Experience group and they explain how they have helped to shape the study in many positive and different ways.
An Extract from our October 2020 Newsletter
‘What has been clear during this pandemic is that the victim/survivors of familial sexual abuse during childhood have been overwhelmed – and CIS’ters is still relevant and needed'.
For Cis’ters, the past six months (April – September 2020) the volume of contact (predominantly by email) has risen by 700% compared with the same period in 2019. The central message from our members and other survivors has been that there continues to be increased feelings of anxiety, isolation and an undercurrent of concern for the children, of today, who are victims of familial sexual abuse. The true depth of the Hidden Harm within our society’.