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Share your experience

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The‌ ‌Inquiry‌ ‌has‌ ‌taken‌ ‌the‌ ‌difficult decision‌‌ to‌ ‌stop‌ holding face to face Truth Project sessions‌ ‌at‌ ‌this‌ ‌time, after carefully considering the Government's guidance. Other methods of sharing are still available.

Share your experience

There are different ways you can choose to share your experience. This page explains what you can expect if you decide to get involved with the Truth Project.

"So grateful I was given this opportunity to attend the Truth Project. For the first time in 50 years I felt I was believed; I was treated with the utmost respect by all involved.”

Truth Project participant

What you might want to share

You can tell us as much or as little as you want about what happened to you. You can choose whether to give details such as names, places or dates. 

You will not be questioned, challenged or judged.

Some people have talked about how sexual abuse has affected them. Others have described how they were let down by people or institutions such as social services or the police, when they told someone what was happening to them. 

Whether you share your experience in writing, in person or by phone, you can have a dedicated support worker while you are involved with the Truth Project.

See our video about sharing in writing.

Sharing in writing

If you’d like to share your experience in writing, you don’t need to make an appointment. You decide when and how you want to write about what happened to you.

There are different ways to share your experience in writing:

  • Fill in our booklet. We can post this to you, or you can download it and print it from here.

Write in the booklet whatever you want to share, and return it to: Freepost IICSA Independent Inquiry. You don’t need a stamp.

  • Fill in our online form – this is similar to our booklet but can be completed electronically. If you would like to use this, email us at contact@iicsa.org.uk and we will send you a link.

  • If you don’t want to fill in a form or a booklet, you can write what you want to share and post it to Freepost IICSA Independent Inquiry, or email it to contact@iicsa.org.uk. This guide to sharing your experience may be helpful.

Help and support with sharing your experience in writing

If you would like help with filling in the booklet or any of the forms, contact us and we can talk you through it.

Please tell us if you have any other concerns or questions about sharing your experience in writing. If you would like to speak to a support worker on the phone, we will arrange that. 

Your support worker can help you prepare to share your experience. They will also suggest ways to look after your health and wellbeing and offer support for a period of time afterwards.  

Find out more about support available.

Sharing in person or by phone

You can choose to be heard in a private session – either in person or on the phone. 

If you choose to share in person, you can come to one of our locations in England or Wales. We’ll agree a date, time and place with you and help make the travel arrangements.

To protect your privacy our locations are not advertised and there are no signs on them to show what they are. We will send you clear details about how to find us, along with your travel arrangements.

We will pay your travel, accommodation and reasonable costs.

If you choose to share your experience by phone, you can be in a familiar place where you feel comfortable talking and the call won't cost you anything. 

We can help you think about a suitable place, and will agree a time and date with you.

Help and support with sharing in person or by phone

If you decide to use our support service, you will have your own support worker while you’re involved with the Truth Project. Find out more about support.

The support worker will contact you about four weeks before your private session. They will explain what will happen and answer any questions you have. You can have several phone calls with your support worker if that is helpful. If you like, they can also attend the session with you.

Your support worker will ask you if you have any needs or wishes that will make you feel comfortable on the day. 

If you don’t want to be contacted by a support worker before your session, let us know. We’ll give you a phone number so you can call us if you have any questions. If at any time you decide you do want to use the support service, you can tell us and we’ll arrange it.

You may want to think ahead about what to say in your session, and you can bring notes to remind you. Your support worker can help you prepare what you want to say.

If you are sharing in person you can bring up to two people, aged 18 or over, with you. They can join you in the session or wait 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.

What to expect before your session

We will send you information about practical arrangements such as the time, date and place, travel details, our support service, reminder letters and what to do if you need to cancel. 

If you have any particular needs or disabilities we will try 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 with you in the way you choose. See www.signhealth.org.uk/truth-project.

What to expect on the day of your session

If you are sharing your experience in person, your support worker will meet you when you arrive at the location and take you to a comfortable, informal room. When you are ready, a facilitator and an assistant facilitator will come to meet you. 

The facilitator and assistant facilitator have been trained to listen to victims and survivors with respect and empathy. The assistant facilitator will take notes on a laptop computer during your session. If you agree, they will also make a digital recording of your experience.

They will ask for your consent to different parts of the process, and explain more about this. For example, they will explain what the Inquiry has to tell the police about allegations of child abuse. Find out more about consent.

If you are sharing your experience by phone, your support worker will call you before the session begins. When you are ready, the facilitator will join in the call. 

It’s up to you what you choose to share. The session will be an informal conversation, not an interview. You will be in charge. You will not be questioned, challenged or judged. The facilitator may give you gentle prompts.

Sessions usually last from 30 to 90 minutes.

After your session

Your support worker will stay with you in person – or on the line if you’re sharing by  phone – to see how you are feeling. They can also tell you about support services in your area that you may find helpful.

Your support worker will contact you about two days after your session if you would like this. You will be offered another support call two weeks later. After that, the Truth Project support service comes to an end. Find out more about support.

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.