The Diocese of Durham aims to provide caring, practical and helpful support for all victims and survivors. We recognise that reporting abuse may be very difficult and distressing. Durham Diocese aims to deal with any contact made by a survivor/victim of abuse in a church-related context with empathy and integrity.
To access support from within the Diocese of Durham contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser:
Beth Miller - Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser
Address: Cuthbert House, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com
The safeguarding adviser will be able to arrange for access to the following sources of support:
Therapeutic support to meet emotional and psychological needs in the immediate and medium-term period following a disclosure. Therapeutic support can be arranged by our Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser and services can usually be provided through the Diocesan College of Counsellors within a fortnight
The role the support person plays must be agreed in consultation with the victim/survivor. The support person, provided the victim/survivor agrees, could be responsible for the following matters:
Liaising (which could include attending any meetings) with the statutory agencies to provide support to the victim/survivor, the support person is not the victim/survivors advocate at any meeting they attend. Listening to and representing the victim/survivor’s pastoral needs. Identifying any therapeutic or other needs the victim/survivor may have, and offering choices as how these may be best met. Listening to and representing the victim/survivor’s views during the management of the safeguarding concern or allegation. Recording any meetings or contact they have with the victim/survivor and passing on relevant information (e.g. to prevent/protect others from harm, any further information supplied in relation to the safeguarding concern or allegation) to the DSA as appropriate, this should be made clear from the outset of the relationship. Records of meetings would include dates, times, locations and an overview of the meeting rather than a specific and detailed account.
The Diocese of Durham recognises that many victims and survivors may not wish to contact church representatives directly. There are a number of ways in which support can be accessed from outside of the church
If you are a survivor of Church of England-related abuse and are in need of urgent or immediate support, please take a look at the Interim Support Scheme.
If you would like additional support, you can also contact Safe Spaces, which is a free and independent support service, providing a confidential, personal and safe space for anyone who has been abused by someone in the Church or as a result of their relationship with the Church of England.
As an alternative, you can contact MACSAS, which supports women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church.
There is also Survivors Voices, a survivor-led organisation that runs peer support groups for victim-survivors of all kinds of abuse, including faith-based abuse. It has a newsletter and other special events for survivors of abuse experienced in churches and other faith-based communities.
You may also wish to visit the House of Survivor website. This site has been published by two members of the Survivor Reference Group who are Survivors of Church of England based abuse. Its purpose is to provide helpful information for fellow Church abused survivors in various aspects of understanding or interaction with the Church and/or its representatives (legal, insurance, etc.).
If you would like to engage with the safeguarding work of the Church today, or find out more about survivor engagement, please contact the Survivor Engagement Team at firstname.lastname@example.org