Young survivors of child sexual abuse and exploitation laid out their blueprint for a more caring and responsive society, at an emotional gathering in London on 26 April.
The 17 young people travelled from around the UK to discuss their experiences, and to come up with proposals for better care and support in the future.
The day started with workshops in the morning, and continued with a Question Time style debate in the afternoon in front of an invited audience of around 70 practitioners and policy makers.
Six of the young people formed an ‘expert’ panel and answered questions, during which they shared some honest, and sometimes harrowing, insights into childhood sexual abuse, coercion, grooming and sexting.
Their testimony was often elaborated upon by event hosts Siobhan Pyburn – who became a Fixer in 2008 – and TV and radio personality Karen Danczuk, who have both survived child sexual abuse.
There was also powerful personal testimony from young people in the audience.
The day focused on three key areas – the reactions of family and friends, their treatment by professionals and how their mental and physical health had been affected.
Talking about their friends and family, some young people explained that, after disclosing their abuse, they hadn’t been properly supported.
They said it was crucial to be listened to and believed.
A report with key insights taken from the day’s findings along with policy suggestions, will be published by the communication team at Fixers shortly.
See our website fixers.org.uk for the full press release.