“The course enabled us to support our children and help our family recover”

Dealing with the impact of the sexual abuse of a child or young person can be a difficult and complex journey for the victim, as well as the family and those close to them. While it is estimated one in 20 children will experience some form of sexual abuse in the UK, finding the right support for recovery for victims and their families can be complicated. 

Children North East’s SAFE (Sexual Abuse Family Engagement) programme provides expert, specialist therapeutic support for victims and tailored support and information for family members. 

One family who was supported through the project shares their experience to inform and encourage others who may benefit from the service. 

“We feel lucky to have found Children North East at a time when our family needed your support most. We have found the support invaluable. Children North East’s response to our request for support was prompt and very responsive. 

Our child accessed an initial assessment very quickly and the course my wife and I were offered was unexpected but most welcome and most necessary.  

We were quickly offered a comprehensive and well-structured programme of support. The eight week course we undertook increased our knowledge base and enabled us to support our children and help our family recover from this unwanted adverse experience. 

Our allocated worker, Bernadette, was very skilled and put us at ease immediately. She tailored the course to meet our family’s specific situation and the support and guidance she offered felt both bespoke and responsive. Sensitive and difficult discussions were handled with kindness, gentleness and empathy; this has been hugely beneficial. 

We have finished the course and our family is now in a much stronger position to cope with the situation with successful outcomes for each member of our family. 

We strongly believe that awareness of this course to all professionals who support families dealing with the sexual abuse of children should be widened. Police, children’s social services, educational professionals and health professionals should all be in a position to signpost families to this service when they need it.” 

If you are a young person or family who has been the victim of sexual abuse, or work with someone who could benefit from the programme, you can make referrals to the SAFE team. The SAFE team can provide more information and support you to complete the referral process. To learn more about the programme and the referral process please visit our dedicated website page or contact Katie Graham on [email protected]