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Here you will find answers to some of the questions you may have about the Truth Project.

Are Truth Project sessions affected by the coronavirus situation?

We‌ ‌are ‌hold‌ing ‌private‌ ‌sessions‌ by telephone in the same way as before, and you can share your experience by video call. You can also share ‌in‌ ‌writing.

Due to the situation caused by coronavirus, to help protect the health and safety of our participants and staff, we have made some changes to Truth Project sessions in person.

What is the Truth Project?

The Truth Project is part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The Inquiry was set up by the government because of serious concerns that some organisations have failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

The Truth Project offers victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the chance to share their experiences and be heard in a respectful way. This helps us to recommend changes to protect children in the future.

For more information see our Terms of Reference.

Who can share their experience of child sexual abuse with the Truth Project?

You can share your experience if you were sexually abused in England or Wales and the abuse started when you were aged 17 or under. The Inquiry was set up to look at child sexual abuse and for this purpose a child is defined as anyone aged 17 or under.

What if I was not in an institution when I was sexually abused?

Many people who take part in the Truth Project were sexually abused by a family member or someone they knew, sometimes in their own home. But they were let down by an institution or an organisation. 

This might mean that someone in authority, such as a social worker or a police officer, did not respond properly when you tried to report the abuse. Or it might be that a doctor or a teacher ignored possible signs of abuse.

Will the Truth Project cost me anything?

If you choose to share your experience in person, when and if these sessions resume, we will cover reasonable costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink. If you choose to share by phone, the call will be free.

What if I change my mind about sharing my experience?

You are free to change your mind about taking part at any time. Please let us know if you do as we may be able to offer the time to someone else who wants to take part. To let us know, please contact us using the phone or email details on your confirmation letter.

What kind of support is available if I share my experience?

Our support workers have experience of working with adult survivors of child sexual abuse. If you share your experience in person, you will meet your support worker face to face. If you share in writing, by phone or by video call, you can talk to them over the phone.

The Truth Project support service is not able to provide therapy, refer you to a therapist or help with long-term recovery. It can offer:

  • emotional and practical support with sharing your experience, and help with any questions or concerns you have, and 

  • advice on other services that can give you more support in the future.

For more information, see our website: www.truthproject.org.uk/help-and-support.

Can I bring anyone else to my session?

If you are sharing in person, you can bring one person, aged 18 or over, with you. They can join you in the session or wait nearby to be with you afterwards. If you are sharing by phone, you can have up to two people, aged 18 or over, in the room with you.

 

Should I bring any documents to my session?

There is no need to bring documents to support your account of your experience. Your session is a chance for you to share as much or as little as you choose. You will not be questioned or challenged. You might find it helpful to bring some notes to remind you of details of the experience that you want to talk about.

What if I have a disability or need?

If you have any disabilities or needs we will do our best to support you. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, we can offer a face-to-face session with a team who will communicate in a way you choose.

For more information, contact our partners through their website:

www.signhealth.org.uk/truth-project/.

What will I be asked to give my consent to?

We will ask for your consent to:

  1. use your experience as part of our research – to learn more about child sexual abuse to help protect children in the future, and 

  2. possibly publish an anonymous summary of your experience – to inform people about the effects of child sexual abuse, and encourage other victims and survivors to come forward

We will never publish any personal details about you and no one will be able to identify you.

Whatever you decide about agreeing to 1 or 2 above, you can still share your experience.

We will also ask for your consent to:

  1. pass your contact details to the police. We must pass all allegations of child abuse to the police. As long as there is nothing to suggest that anyone is at risk of significant harm, we won’t give the police your personal details, unless you say we can. If you do agree, the police may contact you and they may investigate or take action. We will not be involved in that.

In a small number of situations, we have to pass on your details to the police or social care without your agreement. We will only do this if you tell us something that suggests a child or an adult might be at risk of significant harm. 

If you have any questions or concerns about consent, please contact us.

Will sharing my experience lead to an investigation?

Sharing your experience with the Truth Project is not part of a legal process and the Inquiry won’t investigate your case. If you agree that we can pass your contact details to the police, they may contact you and they may investigate your case. 

You can tell us how you would prefer the police to contact you, for example by email or phone, and we will pass this on. Because we are independent of the police, we cannot guarantee if, when or how the police may contact you. We won’t be involved in any action they take.

Will my information be kept confidential and secure?

All personal or sensitive information that you choose to share with us is securely stored and we only share it with those who need to see it. When the Inquiry is closed, your personal or sensitive information will be securely destroyed.

For more information about how we handle your personal information, please see our privacy notice on our website at  www.iicsa.org.uk/privacy

If you are involved in a criminal case connected to what you share with us, we might be asked to reveal information about you, for example by a legal team. We will only do this if you agree or if we are ordered to by a court of law.

Records of much of the work of the Inquiry will be kept at The National Archives. This will include the evidence used in our hearings and reports, anonymised data used by our research team, and our website. Personal details and other information that could identify you is removed from anonymised data.

How could I get involved with the Inquiry to help protect children from sexual abuse?

Our Victims and Survivors Forum is open to all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse. If you’d like to take part, you will be able to attend events and help with the work of the Inquiry by sharing your views, experiences and suggestions. 

Find out more about the Forum at ww.iicsa.org.uk/victims-and-survivors/attend-forum.

Your privacy

There are very limited circumstances where we tell anyone your name without your consent, for example if a child is currently at risk and we need to tell the police.