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Support for survivors

Hands holding two mugs of tea at a tableIf you are looking through this page it might be because something has happened to you, you are struggling and looking for support, or because you want to help someone close to you. 

Seeking support when you are struggling or thinking about speaking out about any kind of abuse, can often raise all kinds of emotions. 

There may be many reasons why you have not spoken out before. It can feel overwhelming and frightening, but it can also be the first step towards support, healing, and recovery. 

You are not to blame for what happened to you. 

You will be heard, supported and have your concerns taken seriously no matter how recent or long ago and regardless of where the abuse took place.
It is your choice who you share your experience with. Within your local church or Parish, you may wish to speak to your Parish Safeguarding Officer or a member of the clergy. 

You may choose instead to contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Team or one of the organisations listed below. 

Safe Spaces

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 either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales.

"Our service is for people who have experienced any kind of abuse – this includes (but is not limited to) sexual violence, inappropriate sexual behaviour, physical abuse, financial abuse or exploitation, psychological abuse (including spiritual abuse), domestic abuse, coercive and controlling behaviour and so-called conversion therapy.

We can help you to process and understand the impact that any abuse has had on you and those around you."

Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces is open, and there are no waiting lists for support. 

You do not have to have reported the incident to the Church authorities or the Police in order to access support.

You do not need to be a current active member of the Church in order to access support.

Safe Spaces Helpline: 0300 303 1056
Email: safespaces@firstlight.org.uk
Live Chat via the website

Domestic Abuse Support

Domestic abuse can impact anyone, children and adults. If you are worried that you or someone else is experiencing domestic abuse here are details of how to contact the safeguarding team and out-of-hours provision.

If you believe that someone is at immediate risk of serious harm please call the police on 999.

National Support

The following organisations are there to offer advice and support.

The Survivors Trust

The Survivors Trust is largest umbrella agency for specialist sexual violence support services in Europe. They support survivors of any age who have experienced all forms of sexual violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation to access information, advice, support and therapy.


Standing for ‘Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors’, this charity supports women and men from Christian backgrounds who have been sexually abused by Ministers or Clergy, as children or as adults. They offer support in a number of ways including a helpline.


The National Association for People Abused in Childhood support adults who have suffered any type of abuse in childhood. They have a national free helpline and other support.


Respond seeks to support people with learning disabilities, autism or both who have experienced trauma in their lives through psychotherapy, advocacy, campaigning and other support.

Life Signs

A user-led service offering support for those who self-harm. Visit the website for more information.

ManKind Initiative

A charity offering support for men who have suffered sexual or domestic abuse in the form of a help line, information and guidance. See the website for all the support that’s available.


Galop provides confidential and independent advice and support for LGBT+ people who have experienced sexual assault, abuse or violence. They provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe space to talk, whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity.

For Children and Young People

The NSPCC helps children who’ve been abused, protects children at risk and finds the best ways to prevent child abuse from ever happening.

Child exploitation and on-line abuse - Police Safety Centre – for anyone worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online.

Local support 

STARS: a service for children, young people and their families who have been affected by sexual abuse.

Authorised Listeners – a dedicated listening service

The Diocese of Guildford is committed to listening, understanding and responding sensitively and effectively to those who have come to harm within a church context.
If you or someone you know has experienced abuse (the abuse doesn’t have to have been reported to the police) from within the church community, you can ask to speak confidentially to one of our Authorised Listeners. 

Contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) directly or through your parish priest or parish safeguarding officer.
We want to hear from you.

Resources to raise awareness of Authorised ListenersA thumbnail of the authorised listeners poster

  1. Download a Poster for raising awareness of Safeguarding Authorised Listeners (pictured left)
  2. Download a Booklet explaining more about Safeguarding Authorised Listeners

More helpful links

The Rape and sexual assault support centre (RSASC) works with those whose life has been affected by rape or sexual abuse, whether recently or in the past.

Stop it Now! Is a confidential helpline, live chat and secure email are here for anyone with concerns about child sexual abuse prevention.


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