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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 of our participants and staff, we are following Government lockdown instructions and can no longer offer the opportunity to share your experience in person. Experiences shared by telephone, video or in writing are treated in the same way and are of the same value to the Inquiry as experiences shared 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.

How will you use the information I give you?

Your personal details – passing information to the police

We must pass a summary of all allegations of child abuse to the police. We will ask if you would like us to give your name and contact details to the police. 

If you say yes, the police may contact you and they may investigate or take action. We will not be involved in that. 

If you say no, we will pass the allegations to the police without your name and contact details. 

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

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

Your experience

Your experience can help us understand more about child sexual abuse. If you share your experience with us, 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.

You can change your mind about allowing us to use your information any time before the reports or summaries are published. Just let us know by phoning us, or emailing or writing to us. Get in touch.

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

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

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.

If something you tell us indicates that someone may be at risk of significant harm, we may need to pass your contact details to the police or social care. We will always discuss this with you first if we can. For more information, see How will you use the information I give you? above. 

 

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?

No. If you choose to share by phone or video call, the call will be free. If you choose to share in writing, you can use our Freepost address.

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 by phone, video call or in writing, you can talk to your support worker over the phone.

Can I bring anyone else to my session?

If you are sharing by phone or video call, 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/.

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 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.

How do I give a compliment about the Truth Project, or express a concern?

You can tell us about a positive experience of our work, or let us know if there is something you think we could do better. If you are unhappy with our work, please get in touch with us as soon as possible so that we can quickly understand your concerns and try to put things right. You can get in touch with us via email, telephone or writing to us. Find out more.

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.