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Inquiry offers Truth Project sessions to students

15 November 2018

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is inviting students to come forward to its Truth Project at seven universities - University of Exeter, Liverpool John Moores University, London South Bank University, University of Liverpool, Middlesex University, Newcastle University and Cardiff University.

The Truth Project enables victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences in a confidential setting; participants are also invited to make recommendations to better protect children in future.

The Inquiry wants to encourage young people to come forward because they can offer insights about the nature of new threats like online grooming and share their experiences of current support services available to children.

New research for the Inquiry found that only 19 percent of young people are comfortable taking part in a conversation about child sexual abuse with adults they know and trust.

In contrast, the Populus poll found over twice as many over 65s (45 percent) were comfortable discussing the topic.

The research also revealed:

  • Young people aged 18 - 24 believe that child sexual abuse is most likely to occur online. Those over 65 were 19 percentage points less likely to consider abuse as most likely to occur online.

  • Young people thought the family home was the next most likely location of child sexual abuse.

  • Only a quarter of young people thought abuse was most likely to take place in a religious or welfare institution and just over 10 percent of young people thought abuse was most likely to take place in a sports club.

Over 8,000 people have now come forward to the Truth Project and almost 2,000 people have shared their experiences. The youngest person to do so was 18.

Lucie, a student and survivor of child sexual abuse said:

“I never told anyone about the abuse I experienced. It started with online grooming when was 10 and went on through my teen years until I was 16.

“It’s important that young people come to the Truth Project to speak out about the abuse we experienced so that we can stop other children from being hurt.”

Professor Alexis Jay, the Chair of the Inquiry said:

“If, as a society, we want to stop children from being sexually abused in future, we need  to have an honest conversation about the experiences of victims and survivors. I hope that young people can help lead the way. They will bring specific insights into current concerns which will be great benefit to the Inquiry.”

You can find out more about the Truth Project at: https://www.truthproject.org.uk, by calling the information line: 0800 917 1000 or emailing share@truthproject.org.uk.

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