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Lucy Duckworth

I have worked with adult survivors of sexual abuse for over 11 years, providing both advocacy and counselling support, initially alongside my former career as a teacher. This background in education not only gave me management and public sector experience, but provided me with a working knowledge of how safeguarding works in practice as well as the challenges faced by professionals. It cemented my dedication to working with other like-minded agencies to improve life for both children and adults who have been abused, neglected and let down by the very institutions that were charged with their safety, which I achieve in a variety of settings.

Due to my own experiences, this work began by campaigning to improve safeguarding as well as the response to adult victims of abuse within faith organisations, especially within the Church of England (although I am not a member of any faith). This work has led me to work with other specialists to inform policy at all levels, from senior politicians and leaders of the church to training programmes with legal professionals, police, regional mental health and safeguarding teams. For several years I chaired a voluntary organisation that helped survivors of child and adult abuse, perpetrated by those working within a faith organisation. I assisted them on a case by case basis as well as undertaking high profile campaigning and media work including newsnight, radio 4s today programme, PM and Any Questions and BBC One's Victoria Derbyshire programme.

I undertook training in psychotherapy, completing my Masters of Science with Psychodynamics of Human Development at Birkbeck University, in collaboration with the British Psychotherapy Foundation. I chose to specialise my research in the lifelong effects of early trauma, with my final thesis exploring the Collective Denial of Child Sexual Abuse within UK Institutions.

I have a particular interest in further research in this area, and sit on a university consultation panel exploring similar research, as well as supervising a dissertation for MSc students for the current academic year. I passionately believe that everyone should have equal access to education, a safe childhood and the health and welfare services they need to reach their full potential as an adult.

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