Leeds Visible to help adult survivors living with the 'lifelong impact' of child sex abuse

Leeds skyline.
Leeds skyline.

A new partnership to help adult survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) in Leeds has been formed.

Leeds Visible aims to help employers give front line workers more confidence and competence to meet the needs of survivors, as well as have the knowledge, workforce and resources to carry out the work.

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People who have experienced abuse have been involved in developing the partnership and in producing advice and guidance for organisations wanting to make improvements and provide support to survivors.

The partnership is chaired by Leeds City Council, working with health organisations, charities and the county's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.

Coun Rebecca Charlwood, the council's executive member for health and wellbeing, said: "We know child sexual abuse is terrible for anyone to experience and can have a lifelong impact.

"By working closely with people who have survived abuse, with specialists and with people in organisations delivering a broad range of front line services to the public, Visible can make an important difference to lives across the city in the future."

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Awareness and understanding of CSA has increased across the UK since the Jimmy Savile investigations in 2012 and the Rotherham Jay Inquiry in 2013, the council said, with extensive media attention focusing on cases in care homes, religious institutions and football clubs.

The Centre of Expertise on CSA, funded by the Home Office, was established in 2017 to help bring about significant and system-wide change in how it is responded to locally and nationally.

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It has produced reports on the scale and nature of CSA, local commissioning practice and abuse within families.

Tessa Denham, CEO of Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service, host agency of Visible, said: "Visible is a powerful catalyst to inspire city leaders to take action together to make a difference to survivors whose needs have not been recognised, often for decades since they were children."

Leeds Visible Steering Group Partners

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group

Leeds City Council

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner West Yorkshire

Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Forum Central, the collective voice for the health and social care third sector in Leeds

Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service

Basis Yorkshire

Forward Leeds

Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service

Leeds Involving People