Voicing CSA held a meeting in Colwyn Bay on 2nd September 2017. And was well received by all who attended with attendees coming from different corners of the U.K. Considering the meeting was in North Wales it was staggering to see how far people had travelled to attend.
Voicing CSA is always amazed how far people will travel and the feedback was positive and those who attended were pleased to witness and be part of the meeting that is not broadcast on social media.
The meeting was not without its problems and there was a power cut prior to the meeting getting underway and no knowledge of when it would return but it did give the opportunity for some of the North Wales Survivors group the extra time to attend the meeting from the beginning.
The meeting started in darkness and without wifi for the internet but nonetheless we managed to soldier on regardless of the obstacles that faced us. Once the meeting started it was with great relief that the power returned (an irony of the task for victims and survivors to take back the power from the perpetrators) and we could move forward with our social media links.
Whilst David Lean was speaking the power returned as he discussed the background to his involvement in CSA issues and #purplefriday
A summary of what #purplefriday is about is available in the next video footage and Voicing CSA would ask that you share this through the week in the build up to the amazing campaign started by David Lean.
Donna Peach recently achieved her Doctorate and is now Dr. Peach, much congratulations from all at Voicing CSA on all the hard work you put in to achieve this what with everything else to pop in a doctorate at the same time is quite something and we are proud that Donna is an Ambassador for Voicing CSA. Donna discussed ‘Truth and Toxicity’ and her words rang true for so many in the room and as always delivered with true professionalism.
May Baxter-Thornton who has become part of the Victims and Survivors Consultation Panel (VSCP). May and Emma Lewis have joined the VSCP as a much needed representation of survivors and victims in Wales. May made the journey from South Wales to North Wales with her trusty husky Rupert to speak at our meeting and give a background to her history and involvement with CSA and Domestic Violence issues. We are pleased that May will also work as an Ambassador for Voicing CSA in the South Wales Valleys and beyond and we are pleased to announce that a meeting in the Valleys is scheduled to take place in the Spring of 2018.
The return of power meant We were able continue with the live link to Chris Harper who is one of our patrons and we thank him for his patience in waiting to join us over Skype. We could not however share this across social media because it was a discussion and viewing about our project that has been funded by Chris and whilst we had control of the live feed of the chat with Chris the camera kept rolling and recorded the soundtrack and footage of our animation so we are unable to air that. We can however share with you that it is an animated short that will be released in the not too distant future. We will make people aware of the launch date and download the animation onto the website so it will be an exciting day for Voicing CSA and all who have been involved in the project many of whose have given their time and energies for free so we thank everyone involved from all at Voicing CSA.
A rough draft of the animation was aired in Colwyn Bay and was met with much positive feedback after the meeting though whilst it was shown there was a sense of stunned silence that fell across the room. We were aware from the onset that the message is powerful and hard hitting but no more so than the sexual abuse many of us suffered in childhood so we make no apology for that and our message will be spread across social media and news networks on 28th September (hopefully) so look out for it and you are welcome to feedback your view and opinions.
Phil Day has spoken in the past at a Shatterboys UK meeting about the atrocities that he and his family have endured over the past few years and for this man to be still standing shows the strength that some CSA survivors have found in speaking out. Whilst recording we had a battery failure and so this is part one of the talk given by Phil and we will update with the other sections as soon as possible.
Final we had the honour to welcome Lucy Gameson back in North Wales. Lucy bravely spoke at our meeting in Wrexham and though her abuse had happened locally in Colwyn Bay Lucy found the courage and bravery to tell her whole story and the effects on her life. Lucy is a true champion and was part of the original investigation in the Waterhouse Report. We wonder what has happened to the recommendation from that report? Her Lucy tells her story and the commitment she feels to help others. So many survivors take the selfless route to help those who have suffered the same and Lucy is no exception.
The meeting whilst harrowing at times was very positive. And the meeting was closed by the Chair of Voicing CSA he started his closing remarks as a mouse but as he spoke he became a lion and roared. Only those who attended the meeting will understand that comment. Shhhh for now.
Speakers today were our Chair Phil Lafferty, May Baxter-Thornton one of the new members of the VSCP, David Lean who discussed #PurpleFriday the Twitter hashtag event that is happening on 15th September, Donna Peach (Salford University), Phil Day (North Wales Survivor) and Lucy Gameson who bravely spoke about the abuse she suffered within the community of Colwyn Bay.
We would like to thank our growing team especially John Lee Place for his security team, Wesley Hall for the technology, Lizzy and Ian for the sandwiches that they make for our meetings and also for this meeting the chocolate muffins and our ambassadors and patrons for their continued support of the work we do together and of course all who attend our meetings and those watch on social media and last but not least the growing number who share, promote and support our work.
Our next meeting is on 11th November 2017 and a few other events that Voicing CSA will be attending are the VCSA Animation Launch on 28th September, the Survivors Of aBuse (S.O.B.) charity launch on Saturday 14th October and the Escape Charity Double Take Ball on 2nd December 2017.