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Truth Project data analysis

Summary

  • The Truth Project was set up for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting.

  • We use the experiences shared though the Truth Project for ongoing research and data analysis. We want to learn more about the nature of child sexual abuse, how people disclosed the abuse and how the institutions responded when the abuse was disclosed. We also look at the impacts of abuse and suggestions from victims and survivors on keeping children safe in the future.

  • By sharing their experiences, victims and survivors make an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry and their experiences will feed into and influence our findings and recommendations.

What the Truth Project data analysis is about

  • The information shared by Truth Project participants will help us answer important questions around child sexual abuse:

    • We want to know who has come forward and what people have told us about the nature of the child sexual abuse they experienced.

    • We also explore whether anything could have been done at the time to prevent the abuse, how people have disclosed the abuse, and what the impacts of child sexual abuse are.

    • Importantly, we bring together victims and survivors’ suggestions to keep children safe in the future.

  • We analyse the information in two ways:

    • Quantitative analysis: we use numbers to answer the research questions, for example the number of people who were abused in a religious institution.

    • Qualitative analysis: we use words and themes to answer the research questions, for example when people describe how they were let down by institutions.

    • Together this gives us a unique insight into child sexual abuse and what institutions and people in power did wrong.

What we have learned so far

  • The first report from this analysis, ‘Victims and Survivors Voices from the Truth Project’ was published in October 2017.

  • The report revealed the failure of adults and institutions to recognise the signs of child sexual abuse. The majority of participants did not feel able to tell someone about the abuse until after it ended.

  • On many occasions, the response to a disclosure of child sexual abuse was inadequate or poor and this negatively affected participants’ lives.

  • Many participants also described the impacts child sexual abuse had upon them. In addition to physical and mental health problems, child sexual abuse can have lifelong effects on victims and survivors in all areas of life, including housing, education, employment and relationships.

Implications for the work of the Inquiry

  • We examine the experiences and suggestions shared by victims and survivors with the Truth Project to understand how to better protect children from child sexual abuse and exploitation in the future. The data analysis of these experiences will be an important building block in helping the Inquiry develop recommendations to improve institutional responses to such abuse.

 

 

Types of research

  • Mixed methods
  • Data analysis

Keywords

  • Truth Project

  • Experiences

  • Impacts of child sexual abuse

  • Victim and survivor voices

  • Disclosure

Timeline

  • October 2017: Victim and survivor voices report published

  • May 2019: Report into religious institutions to be published

  • September 2019: Report into welfare institutions to be published

  • 2020: Report into schools to be published

Outputs

Truth Project Dashboard

Research report with data analysis

Truth Project Experiences Shared

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