Who can we help?
Safe Spaces is for anyone who feels they have experienced church related abuse of any form in England or Wales.
This may have been in relation to the Church of England, Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales.
By ‘church related’, this may include:
- Abuse by a church officer. A church officer is any person, ordained or lay, paid or voluntary, who holds a role in the church.
- Abuse that is linked to participating in a church-led activity or group.
The service is open to anyone who lives in England and Wales. If you live outside of England and Wales, but suffered abuse by a Church Officer from the Church of England, Catholic Church in England and Wales or the Church in Wales, we will always endeavour to provide support, but this may be limited due to the services that are available outside of England and Wales.
- Our Services are for people aged 18 or over, but the abuse can have happened at any time, now or in the past. If support is required for someone under the age of 18, we will always try to find appropriate local 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.
- 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.
How can we help?
Remote support is provided nationally through our helpline and Live Chat for as long as our clients feel they need it and it is deemed to be helpful.
We can help with advocating with authorities and other agencies, giving you emotional support, providing information (including information on church and police procedures), understanding your needs and working together on individual support plans. If face-to-face support is wanted local to where you live, we will try to make contact with appropriate agencies depending on need.
Safe Spaces comprises a team of trained support advocates who have also undergone specialist training in supporting survivors of sexual violence. The team have received additional specific training in how the churches respond to abuse cases, 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.