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TST to act as Secretariat for New All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

TST to act as Secretariat for New All-Party Parliamentary Group for Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) was created in November 2018 by Sarah Champion MP and The Survivors Trust, and contains members from across the Commons and Lords. The APPG works to highlight the needs of adult survivors of child sexual abuse across the country, and to give a voice to their concerns in Parliament. 

If you want more people to talk about their abuse and come forward and go to court then you have to at least support them. And even if they don’t or can’t report, there has to be support for them to be able to live with dignity.

– Anonymous Survivor

All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPG) are informal groupings of Members of the Commons and Lords, formed of members of different political parties. The APPG for adult survivors of child sexual abuse contains the following members:

Membership.

Chair – Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham (Labour).

Officers

Jim Shannon, MP for Strangford (DUP)

Lilian Greenwood, MP for Nottingham South (Labour)

Dr Lisa Cameron, MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (SNP)

Lucy Allan, MP for Telford (Conservative)

Pauline Latham, MP for Mid Derbyshire (Conservative)

Baroness Sheila Hollins (Crossbench)

Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull (Liberal Democrats)

Baroness Uddin (Non-affiliated)

In recent years there have been a series of high profile child sexual abuse scandals across the United Kingdom, including in Sarah Champion’s constituency of Rotherham, however there has been little focus on the voices or needs of adult survivors.

MPs and Peers were elected at the Inaugural Meeting of the APPG from across the political spectrum, in a demonstration of the willingness of Parliamentarians to work on a cross-party basis to improve support services for adult survivors of abuse. Sarah Champion was elected Chair of the APPG.

During the Inaugural Meeting, survivors of childhood sexual abuse and providers of specialist support services described the hidden costs to society of not addressing widespread abuse. Survivors shared commonly held experiences of their trauma going unrecognised and untreated by NHS services. It was acknowledged that, following the Jimmy Savile scandal, victims and survivors of past abuse have been encouraged to come forward only to be told there are insufficient resources to prosecute the crimes, provide survivors with therapy, or guarantee advocacy services for those who want it.

The APPG will focus its initial efforts on consulting with victims, survivors and support services understand their experiences of accessing support services and the criminal justice system. The APPG will host evidence sessions in Parliament, obtain the views of victims and survivors directly. The APPG will aim to highlight the need for specialist support services and to improve access to justice for adult survivors.

Commenting at the launch, Sarah Champion said:

 The new APPG seeks to give a voice to adult survivors of child abuse. We know that so many suffer in silence, struggle to get the support they need and encounter problems in accessing the criminal justice system. 
 This APPG will put survivors at the front and centre of the policy debate. As a nation, we were repulsed by the Savile scandal and pledged to do more to support survivors, but six years later have we achieved that aim? 
 Too often the long-term needs of survivors of childhood sexual abuse are forgotten. Abuse in childhood can have a devastating effect throughout a person’s life but when survivors’ transition to adulthood, survivors are expected to keep quiet and carry on while the statutory support available to them drops away.

Fay Maxted OBE, our Chief Executive, commented:

 It is impossible these days to ignore the fact that as a society we have a problem with the sexual abuse of children.   
The many disclosures relating to celebrities and the subsequent investigations, the many organised groups that have targeted children and young people, and the ongoing Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse have opened everyone’s eyes to the depravity of sexual offenders, the prevalence of sexual abuse and the ongoing impact on victims and survivors.  However, to date, there has been little targeted and specific focus on the needs of adult survivors.    
 This APPG will allow adult survivors to speak directly to government about how we as a society should respond through justice processes and in providing support and therapy to aid recovery for victims and survivors.

You can follow the activities of the APPG on the Twitter and website.

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