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Raising awareness of the Truth Project

16 August 2017

In your role as a pharmacy professional you may come across someone who has suffered sexual abuse as a child.

If you have received safeguarding training, you will be aware of the correct action to take if a patient discloses that they have been abused.

But you also might want to make them aware of the work of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and, specifically, the Truth Project.

Established in 2015 by the Inquiry, the Truth Project aims to give a voice to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. It is an opportunity for them to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting. They are also able to make suggestions about how to protect children from abuse in the future.

The Inquiry was established to investigate to what extent institutions and public bodies in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse. It will also make recommendations for change.

Professor Alexis Jay, the Chair of the Inquiry, said the Truth Project is a central part of the Inquiry’s work. “Hearing from victims and survivors is an important way for us to understand how and why institutions failed to protect children,” she added.

“Victims and survivors who take part in the Truth Project are offered a confidential one-to-one session with a trained facilitator. The sessions have been designed in consultation with victims and survivors and their needs and wishes take priority. They are able to disclose as much or as little about their experiences as they feel comfortable with and are not questioned or challenged.”

So far more than 1,000 have come forward to the Truth Project but we would like to hear from as many people as possible.

Information about getting in touch with the Truth Project and more information on the Inquiry can be found at our website www.iicsa.org.uk

If you would like a poster or other materials about the Truth Project to place in your pharmacy please contact Lucy Howson at lucy.howson@iicsa.org.uk

For more information and resources on safeguarding, see the June 2016 Regulate article on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults

Pharmacy professionals: tips on what to do if someone discloses child sexual abuse

  • The more confident people feel about speaking about abuse, the sooner it can stop. Perpetrators of abuse rely on silence and secrecy. We can all help by being willing to listen, not judge and speaking out when something isn’t okay.
  • Don’t be afraid about talking to survivors - 1 in 4 four people have been sexually abused so you will have been responding to survivors of abuse without having been aware of it.
  • It’s best not to ask survivors to go into detail about the abuse. It may trigger post traumatic stress or dissociative symptoms.
  • Do follow your safeguarding policy and procedures.
  • If you have been affected by child sexual abuse, there are resources online and support services available, including from the NSPCC and Victim Support. Your employer may also have an Employee Assistance Programme which could provide guidance.

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