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Voices of child sexual abuse survivors at the heart of Inquiry’s Legacy Project

1 August 2022

Benches and plaques across England and Wales will soon bear messages of hope for children as part of a landmark Legacy Project by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. 

Benches and plaques are set to be placed at up to 200 locations around both countries, inscribed with uplifting messages gathered directly from victims and survivors who have taken part in the Inquiry’s Truth Project. Each message has been chosen for reflection or to spark conversation, assuring victims and survivors they have been, and will continue to be, heard.

“My Truth Project session was the first time in over 50 years I'd been able to talk about things. It was a wonderful enabler being able to express myself. In some ways I felt like a prisoner in my situation. I haven't been able to talk about what happened to me apart from when I told the Inquiry.” - Victim and survivor who attended the Truth Project

Through our 15 investigations, research programme and Truth Project, thousands of victims and survivors have made a vital contribution to the Inquiry’s work, helping to pave the way for change to protect future generations of children. The Legacy Project aims to acknowledge this contribution, ensuring their voices are at its heart.

Across England and Wales, benches and plaques will form part of a long-standing, easily accessible legacy located in gardens, parks, towns and other public spaces. While every bench or plaque stands alone, the Inquiry’s Legacy Project creates a communal space for reflection on shared experiences, helping victims and survivors, however far apart, to never feel alone.

Uniting this community space online, the Inquiry has also launched a new legacy Instagram page and website space, enabling users to follow the development of the project, share their own photos, and provide a digital place of connection for anyone who wishes to be involved in the project.

“Benches being at the heart of the project brings the subject all out in the open. It opens up the conversation but also gives time for quiet reflection. It provides a talking point for people.” - Victim and Survivors Forum member

Benches will also feature a QR code linking to a new section of the Inquiry’s website, dedicated to the Legacy Project. This will include clear signposting for help and support services, background information and further resources for those who wish to show their support. It will also feature a digital interactive map, enabling viewers to easily find the closest bench to them.

Since the Inquiry began, we have seen an increased understanding of the devastating extent and impacts of child sexual abuse, but there is still a long way to go. It is our hope that through the Legacy Project, we continue to shine a light on the experiences of all victims and survivors by encouraging a more public conversation around child sexual abuse, to support real cultural change. If you’d like to be involved in the Legacy Project, you can find out more by visiting the Inquiry’s website, or by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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