Supporting victims and survivors of abuse
The needs of victims and survivors of abuse vary greatly depending on individual circumstances. They may or may not experience trauma as a result of life events. Their needs can change over time and be triggered at different points in their lifetime. Experiencing trauma may also be lifelong and have a wide range of adverse outcomes.
Victims and survivors might need practical support about how to report abuse and access appropriate medical help, advocacy support and therapeutic support such as counselling and psychotherapy.
Many victims, survivors and survivor groups tell us they need
- To be heard
- To be listened to
- To be believed and not judged
- To receive caring and empathetic support from professionals and others.
The Church seeks to ensure that victims and survivors receive a sensitive and effective response when reporting any type of abuse, current or historic (non-recent) which has been perpetrated by a Church office bearer or employee in a Church activity, or by another service user in a social care service provided by CrossReach (Social Care Council).
All disclosures will be treated seriously and victims and survivors given the opportunity to be heard and to be listened to.
We are currently reviewing and developing our policy in relation to supporting victims and survivors of abuse, with a view to improving our support when a disclosure is made to us.
Redress Scheme for survivors of abuse
For many years, survivors of historical abuse in care have campaigned for redress, wanting and deserving to be listened to, heard and believed.
On 23 April 2021, The Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) Bill became an Act of the Scottish Parliament. Making redress payments is an important part of dealing with the wrongs of the past. Being part of the Redress Scheme gives organisations the opportunity to be part of a nationwide, collective effort to face up to the harms of the past. Providing contributions to the Redress Scheme will allow organisations to address concerns raised by those who were in their care without requiring them to bear the costs that may be associated with civil court processes. The Church of Scotland is a contributor to the Scheme.