Statement from the founder of Voicing CSA

Voicing CSA was founded by Phillip Lafferty in response to realising there was little, if any information and support reaching those who had suffered childhood sexual abuse.

Whilst there is limited information via the press and social media there are few channels for all who have been abused due to their own personal circumstances? It was through attending meetings in London Phillip started to be aware that on return to his hometown in Loughborough, little if anything was known of those meetings taking place and even fewer people and most especially survivors were aware of any outcomes. His concern grew as the Independent Inquiry into Child sexual abuse (IICSA) started to evolve and to have a voice, your voice had to be in the heart of Westminster in the meeting rooms and corridors of power. If survivors of child rape and abuse wanted to speak out and be a part of that voice it meant you had to have the money and the means to attend those events/meetings.

Survivors are everywhere, they are in villages, in towns and cities throughout England and Wales (for the purposes of the inquiry) and many do not have a voice, they do not always have that sense of camaraderie, they are alone. The founder of Voicing CSA didn’t know any survivors of sexual abuse in childhood apart from himself.

Voicing CSA wants to change that and add those voices, to make a change to that isolation and to work together as a united group of likeminded individuals to be one voice of many survivors. Voicing CSA aims to unite those lone and isolated voices and to show support and help for individuals to realise that they are not a lone voice but one voice together.

One voice that has a strength and sound that will echo and encourage others to speak out. Voicing CSA envisages a network of survivors supporting survivors. All survivors need the strength to start their recovery and this can be achieved by raising awareness of the scale and extent of abuse. Whilst the IICSA seeks testimony from those abused via institutions and organisations and Voicing CSA will help provide a pathway for that evidence and testimonies to reach the IICSA, it also recognises there are many for whom that is not their way forward as they were not institutionally abused, nonetheless, they do need support.

This includes people in the most vulnerable parts of societies, such as those serving prison sentences, in psychiatric care and the homeless.

We must ensure justice is for all and all can speak out so that voicing our past can lead to justice and as equally important lead to lessons learnt and acted upon so that the future can be made safer for generations of children. Voicing CSA now will be part of the voice of tomorrow in regard to Child sexual abuse.

Many groups and organisations offer support to survivors as long as it fits within the remit of that group or organisation. Voicing CSA is different as it gives the opportunity for the unheard to be listened to. We are Voicing CSA and every voice can be a part of that.