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Trust House Reading

Reading & Berkshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre

August 29th, 2013 by

Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre “Trust House”

The Survivors Trust is delighted to have been awarded funding to set up a new rape support centre in Berkshire under the Coalition Government’s commitment to open 15 new rape support centres. The new centre will be called Reading & Berkshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre: Trust House.

Reading& Berkshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre will be functional by early 2014 to provide practical and emotional support to women, men, young people and children who have been raped or sexually abused either recently or in the past. It will provide a range of services including:

  • Specialist sexual violence counselling
  • Helpline
  • Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)
reading-trust-house

We welcome people who would like to volunteer with the new centre.

There will be a range of opportunities for volunteers with full training and support provided.

We will soon be decorating and furnishing new offices and client rooms

Donations of decorating materials, furniture, soft furnishings and artwork are all welcome. We want to make Trust House as welcoming and inviting as possible.

For more information please contact Namita Prakash, tel: 07791567155

email: [email protected]

Updates….

  • Recruitment of staff underway.
  • Office is being finalised.

The post Reading & Berkshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

Reporting child abuse is discretionary in the UK. ‘Law must change’ say charities

July 23rd, 2013 by

NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood) is leading a coalition of charities in the call for legislation to introduce ‘Mandatory reporting’. The law would make failure to report suspected or known child abuse in ‘Regulated Activities’ a criminal offence. Regulated Activities include schools, sports clubs linked to national sports bodies, children’s homes and faith organisations*.

Pete Saunders, Chief Executive of NAPAC said: “Mandatory reporting is long overdue in this country. Parents will probably be shocked to learn that that such legislation does not already exist. Staff who suspect abuse may report it, but face no sanction for failing to report. In places such as Hillside First School, Downside, St Benedict’s, Stony Dean School and Little Teds Nursery, abuse went unreported to the authorities, leaving children at risk of further abuse.

People who work with children are under no statutory obligation to report known or suspected child abuse, even rape. They may decide to do so, but it is entirely discretionary and there is no sanction for failing to report. As a result of non existence of law, staff who do report are whistleblowers and have no statutory protection when speaking out in the most challenging of circumstances.

The only area of the UK where mandatory reporting does exist is Northern Ireland. Barry Gardiner MP (Brent North) was responsible for its strict application to educational settings during his time there as a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Office in Tony Blair’s Labour government.

Barry Gardiner said: “It should be mandatory to report, because these things must not be covered up. This is what has led to all the problems in the Church. It is what enables people to go on and commit offences again.”

Serious Case Reviews of child abuse cases have repeatedly revealed that professionals and others suspected years before that abuse was taking place but failed to inform the authorities.

Anne Lawrence, a barrister in educational and community care law, said: “The current statutory framework and government guidance makes very clear that decisions on whether to report concerns and allegations of child abuse to external agencies is discretionary, it is not mandatory. The worst that can happen to a person who fails to report an allegation or concern is that when the truth comes out, often many years later, that person may be disciplined by the professional body to which he or she  belongs. Such a system does not and cannot protect children from abuse. Mandatory reporting would require all concerns, reports and allegations of child abuse to be reported to external agencies such as the LADO and thus ensure appalling child protection failings such as Hillside do not happen in the future.”

James Rhodes, classical pianist, supports the Mandate Now campaign.  James tweeted “Reporting child rape is discretionary in the UK. Sign here to help. www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/educationgovuk-introduce-law-requiring-adults-working-with-children-to-report-alleged-abuse-mandatenow  Would’ve helped me a lot as a kid. Pls RT.”  He stars in forthcoming Channel 4 documentary “James Rhodes: Notes from the Inside”, which will be broadcast on Channel4 on 24 July 2013.

NOTES 

The Mandate Now petition went live on 1 May 2013.  http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/educationgovuk-introduce-law-requiring-adults-working-with-children-to-report-alleged-abuse-mandatenow  #MandateNow

Countries which operate mandatory reporting include: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden, USA, and now the Republic of Ireland which on the 10th November 2012 held a referendum which approved mandatory reporting.

*Regulated Activities include schools, sports clubs linked to national sports bodies, children’s homes and faith organisations and similar institutions as defined by the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 where children are cared for by adults other than their parents.

MANDATE NOW COALITION

NAPAC – national charity supporting adults who have been abused in any way as children. www.napac.org.uk

THE SURVIVORS TRUST – national umbrella agency for over 135 specialist rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse support organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.

SURVIVORS UK –  helps men who have been sexually violated and raises awareness of their needs. www.survivorsuk.org

RESPOND  –  works with children and adults with learning disabilities who have experienced abuse or trauma.www.respond.org.uk

INNOCENCE IN DANGER – International Charity recently arrived in the UK which is dedicated to the eradication of child abuse and sex trafficking. www.innocenceendanger.org/en/

MEDIA INFORMATION

Pete Saunders, Chief Executive of NAPAC Tel 203 176 0560, Mobile 07977  975402 Email [email protected]

Twitter @MandateNow

The post Reporting child abuse is discretionary in the UK. ‘Law must change’ say charities appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

Right to Review – Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel

June 6th, 2013 by

 

Right to Review – Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel

TST is recommending member agencies and ISVAs to alert their clients to the new right to review which has just been established by the Crown Prosecution Service and Police.    The issue of survivors feeling that their case has not been investigated thoroughly or that perpetrators have not been charged has caused great distress for many survivors over many years.  Whilst the new right to review does not guarantee that a case will be re-investigated or that a decision not to charge will be overturned, there is at least now an opportunity for survivors to have the chance to challenge the outcome either with the Police or CPS.

ACPO and CPS have formed a child sexual abuse review panel to look at cases where the victim is not satisfied that their original allegation/s were dealt with appropriately.

The panel will review cases and advise whether the allegations should be either be reinvestigated by the police or whether the decision not to prosecute should be reviewed by the CPS.  The case will be referred back to the police force or CPS Area where the case originated.

Cases can be referred to the panel either by the individual through a dedicated email address – [email protected]which will automatically refer correspondence to the panel secretariat.  Complainants can also request the police force or CPS Area that originally dealt with their allegation to refer their case to the review panel.

The panel will consider cases where these factors apply:

  • the complaint is in respect of an alleged sexual offence committed against the complainant;
  • the complaint of an allegation of an sexual offence has previously been made to the police;
  • a decision to take no further action was taken by the police or by the CPS;
  • the complainant has asked the police or the CPS to look again at that decision;
  • the alleged sexual offence was committed when the complainant was under 18 years of age; and
  • the alleged perpetrator/s may still pose a risk. (The threshold for risk is set very low and simply means that the perpetrator may currently or in the future have the opportunity to commit further offences)

There is no restriction on the context or setting of where the alleged offending behaviour took place for the purpose of the case being re-considered by the panel. However, the alleged offence must have been committed in England and Wales.

The panel will not consider cases if these factors apply:

  • the complainant has not previously reported the matter to the police as this will therefore be a new complaint that the police will need to investigate;
  • new evidence has come to light prompting a fresh investigation by the police;
  • the allegation is of child sexual abuse alleged to have occurred after 5 June 2013 (the date of introduction of the Victims Right to Review in the CPS).

The panel will consist of a Chief Crown Prosecutor, an ACPO rank police officer, a specialist prosecutor, and experienced child abuse police investigator, and an appropriate independent representative.

Sole responsibility for taking this decision in the panel rests with the police and CPS members.

The independent representative in the panel will play an advisory role i.e. they will receive and consider the relevant information and provide views to the police and CPS members of the panel as to the decision they consider should be taken.

Click here to read the article on the CPS website.

The post Right to Review – Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

Victims minister, Helen Grant, announces £4 million to help rape victims rebuild their lives

March 1st, 2013 by

On Friday 22nd February 2013, Victims Minister Helen Grant announced funding totalling £4 million to help rape victims rebuild their lives.

The funding will allow four new rape support centres to open in areas where victims/survivors suffer without expert help, and will also provide further funding for the 65 centres already funded by the Ministry of Justice.

The Survivors Trust was awarded funding from the Ministry of Justice in 2010 and 2012 to establish Dorset Rape Crisis Support Centre, see dorsetrapecrisis.org for more information, and Mid Wales Rape Support Centre, due to launch on 11th March 2013, see midwalesrsc.org.uk for more information.

The post Victims minister, Helen Grant, announces £4 million to help rape victims rebuild their lives appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

TST funded to set up new rape support centres in Reading & Berkshire and Central Lancashire

February 23rd, 2013 by

The Survivors Trust is delighted to have been awarded funding to set up two new rape support centres – one to be based in Reading & Berkshire and one to be based in Central Lancashire.

Reading & Berkshire Rape Support Centre

The new rape support centre will be developing its services over the next three years to offer specialist counselling, support and advocacy to women, men, young people and children who have been raped or sexually abused either recently or in the past.

Reading and Berkshire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre will offer a helpline, specialist sexual violence counselling, emotional and practical support for anyone whose life has been affected by rape or sexual abuse at any time.  It is anticipated that the centre will be launched in January 2014.

Namita Prakash, Regional Development Manager for The Survivors Trust, says:

In Reading and Berkshire there are no specialist third sector providers of counselling, help and support services to victims/survivors of rape and sexual abuse.  Many victims have been unable to find help and support at their time of need and many have continued to suffer alone and in silence.   I am looking forward to working with partner agencies and developing new working relationships to establish a survivor focused, comprehensive and responsive service, based in Reading and working across Berkshire.

Reading Borough Council’s Lead Councillor for Neighbourhoods and Housing, Rachel Eden, said:

I think we are all delighted that meetings, campaigning and events we’ve been doing over the last 18 months, led by Sinaed, has resulted in this funding announcement. This will be a centre that works with the SARC in Slough as well as providing the longer term counselling and practical support that survivors will need. I’m particularly pleased that this service will be open to anyone, regardless of age or gender.

Sinaed Gibson, Community Activist, said:

It has been great to see the community come together to support the campaign, and equally that our voices have been heard and that everyone’s been willing to work together to get this much needed service which will benefit many in Berkshire.

Immediate plans for establishing the new centre involve securing appropriate premises in Reading, recruiting and training staff and volunteers.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the new centre for Reading & Berkshire, its services and development, please contact Namita Prakash on 07791 567155 or email [email protected] for more information.

Central Lancashire Rape Support Centre

Central Lancashire is an area particularly lacking in specialist sexual support for victims and survivors of rape and sexual abuse.

The new rape support centre will be developing its services over the next three years to offer specialist counselling, support and advocacy to women, men, young people and children who have been raped or sexually abused either recently or in the past.

Central Lancashire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre will offer a helpline, specialist sexual violence counselling, emotional and practical support for anyone whose life has been affected by rape or sexual abuse at any time. It is anticipated that the centre will be launched in January 2014.

Sue James, Regional Development Manager for The Survivors Trust, says:

Many people in the Central Lancashire area have reported to me that there is a dire lack of specialist rape and sexual abuse support services in the area. Many victims have been unable to find help and support at their time of need and many have continued to suffer alone and in silence. I am looking forward to working with partner agencies and developing new working relationships to establish a survivor focused, comprehensive and responsive service, based in Preston and working across Central Lancashire.

Immediate plans for establishing the new centre involve securing appropriate premises in Preston, recruiting and training staff and volunteers. Anyone interested in finding out more about the new centre, its services and development, please contact Sue James on 07791 592 531 or email [email protected] for more information.

The post TST funded to set up new rape support centres in Reading & Berkshire and Central Lancashire appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

Welcome to our new site

September 7th, 2012 by

Hello all!

We’re thrilled to announce that our new website has launched!

Like most new websites it is and will be a work in progress, particularly for the next few weeks ahead while we finalise and add content – so our sincere apologies for any pages that are still to be fully worked on. We assure you that all the information and resources specified on the site will be available to view soon!

We will also be showing off a brand new logo in the next few weeks – so watch this space!

We hope you like the new website design – and if you’ve any thoughts or feedback, please do let us know!

The post Welcome to our new site appeared first on The Survivors Trust Wales.

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