Reporting abuse can be very difficult, if you have either been abused or are being abused now, there is help and support available.
If you have been affected by abuse, however long ago, or if you are concerned that someone else is experiencing or has experienced abuse in a church setting, we want to help.
On this page, you will information about :
Support available from the Church
Raising a complaint or concern about our safeguarding practice
Signposts to external organisations that can offer support
Links to victim/survivor-led websites
If you are worried about someone and want to raise a concern or report abuse, you can contact one of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisers. View their contact details
The Responding Well guide aims to explain what support you can expect from the Church. Download the guide or click the image to the right.
The Church of England’s Interim Support Scheme offers immediate help and support to survivors whose life circumstances are significantly affected by the abuse suffered, and the response to it.
As a Safeguarding Team, we endeavour to provide the highest level of professional service and support as possible.
However, if you are concerned about any safeguarding practice or service you have seen or received. either from the Diocesan team, a church, or another part of the Diocesan support structure, please do contact us.
Where else you can report a concern about safeguarding practice
If you do not feel comfortable raising your concern with the team directly, you can approach the Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel, Dr Liza Thompson on DSAPChair@rochester.anglican.org
The Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel is a group of external safeguarding professionals, along with senior clergy and officers from the Diocese and the Cathedral, who provide quality assurance and challenge in regard to safeguarding.
In this short video (see above), Dr Liza Thompson, the Independent Chair of the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisory Panel, explains more about how victims and survivors can help us shape and improve our response. (Captions available)
We have compiled a downloadable list of national and local organisations and services that can be approached for support. We highlight some of the key ones below:
Safe Space - 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, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales.
Provides support to both women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church.
- Tel: 08088 010340
A national organisation offering support and counselling for those affected by rape and sexual abuse.
- Helpline 0808 802 9999
Provides support to adults who have been abused in any way as children.
- Tel: 0808 801 0331
Child Protection Helpline - phone if you are worried about a child.
- Tel: 0808 800 5000 (lines are free and open 24 hours)
Phone if you are a child or young person, and are worried about anything.
- Tel: 0800 1111 (lines are free and open 24 hours)
Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse.
- Tel: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours)
Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.
- Tel: 08457 90 90 90 (open 24 hours)
A national umbrella agency for 130 specialist organisations in the UK that offer support to people who have experienced sexual violence, sexual assault or sexual abuse. It has a free, confidential helpline.
- Tel: 0808 801 0818
- The Survivors Trust
Hourglass believe in safer ageing and stopping abuse for the elderly.
- Telephone 080 8808 8141 (24/7 phone line)
Support for victims of stalking and advice on lone working.
- National helpline: Tel: 0808 802 0300
Here are details of some websites and blogs which have been established by victims and survivors of abuse.
- House of Survivors - This is an information-based site for Survivors of Church of England-based abuse and Safeguarding employees within the Church of England. Please be aware that a disclaimer on this site warns that it contains some distressing content. Please exercise self-care. Should you need support, please visit one of the services listed on the website or use the Quick Exit button available on the site itself.
- Survivors Voices - Survivors Voices is a survivor-led organisation that harnesses the expertise of people affected by abuse in order to transform society’s response to trauma and abuse. They state that they are ‘experts by experience’, survivors of all types of abuse, experienced as a child or as an adult, 'turning our pain into the power to create something good.'
We are very grateful to all those with lived experiences of abuse who engage with us in order that we can improve our support to victims and survivors. If there is something you think we can be doing better or there is something missing from this page that you think would be helpful, please contact a member of the team.
Lead Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Get in touch