Victims and Survivors

The welfare of children and adults at risk of abuse is of paramount importance to the Diocese of Exeter and we urge anyone wishing to give information or make disclosures of church-related abuse to make direct contact with our Safeguarding Team.

However, we recognise that those with a lived experience of abuse from within the Church may prefer to seek support or advice independent to the Diocese and as such have listed a number of relevant support services below.

Support for Victims and Survivors:

  • Responding Well: A Guide to Support for Victims and Survivors: This Guide outlines what support you can expect if you have experienced abuse within a church setting.
  • Safe Spaces Support Service: Safe Spaces offers a free and independent telephone support service for anyone who has experienced any form of abuse through their relationship with either the Church of England, the Catholic Church of England and Wales or the Church in Wales. Safe Spaces comprises a team of support advocates who have undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence and who have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases. The team understand the way in which faith and church-related settings have been used to carry out abuse and the particular issues affecting people who have had, or still have, a relationship with the church.
  • First Light Listening Service: As part of its commitment to care for victims and survivors of abuse, the Diocese of Exeter has commissioned an Independent Listening service from First Light, a charity offering support to people who have experienced sexual abuse. It provides an attentive and attuned listening ear to assist people in talking about experiences in relation to present or past abuse. The service can assist individuals in considering the next steps, and provide support in taking them. Next steps could include reporting abuse to a statutory agency, instigating disciplinary, proceedings, seeking counselling, pastoral support or mediation.
  • moMENtum: moMENtum is a mutual support group for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The group meet as equals for support, to gain an understanding of one another and to share information and resources. More information is available on their website.

Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA):

The Diocese of Exeter has responded with the following statement to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA)Final Report. The Church of England has produced it’s own Statement on Publication of IICSA Report.