Thinking Anglicans

National survivor survey to inform Church’s safeguarding work

Press release from the Church of England

National survivor survey to inform Church’s safeguarding work
18/07/2022

A vital national survey to understand how victims and survivors would like to be involved in the development and implementation of a Church of England survivor engagement framework, has been launched today. This framework will set out how victims and survivors of abuse will inform the Church’s work to develop and improve safeguarding.

The anonymous survey will run for two months and is open to any victim or survivor who would like to engage with the Church to inform its work. The questions were formed with survivors who have provided valuable input and feedback in terms of content and promotion of the survey.

The National Safeguarding Team (NST) is committed to the development and implementation of this framework with victims and survivors. The Team already engages regularly with a number of victims and survivors and wishes to see more people engaged with different strands of its work.

The survey is not about asking questions relating to victims and survivors’ past or present experiences of abuse, harm or neglect but to understand better how victims and survivors would like to be involved in developing the framework, in what ways and what formats. Its purpose is to listen to victims and survivors, including those who have not engaged with the Church previously, about how they would like to be involved in developing and implementing this framework and enable victims and survivors of any form of abuse to engage in different workstreams in the Church, including its response to victims and survivors of abuse.

The anonymous survey is available on the survivor engagement webpage of Church of England’s website and runs for two months from 19 July until 18 September 2022. Learning from the survey will inform a publicly accessible report, which will include key themes and next steps to develop the framework and will be published on the same webpage.

Bishop Julie Conalty, deputy lead safeguarding bishop for survivor engagement said: “The survivor voice is vital to our ongoing safeguarding work in the Church. It is not just about listening but acting on what we hear. This survey is part of the Church’s commitment to meaningful, transparent and impactful survivor engagement work. I hope we can learn from those who come forward and share their views to develop this new framework.”

Notes

Survivor engagement is about enabling survivors and victims of any form of abuse to have a say and active role in making the Church of England a safer place for all.

In November 2021, the National Safeguarding Steering Group (NSSG) endorsed NST’s strategy to develop a survivor engagement framework.

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Richard W. Symonds
Richard W. Symonds
20 days ago

Same ####, different names.

Kate
Kate
20 days ago

I am not a survivor. Maybe this is obvious to survivors. Maybe I am wrong. But I thought survivors had been pretty vocal about many of the things they need done – many of which have either not been done at all or have announced but not implemented in a way survivors are confident in.

So why is this any more than another delaying tactic?

Patricia
Patricia
20 days ago

Understand the cynicism but as one of the survivors that helped feedback comments about the survey please do give it a look if any survivor reading this would like to have a voice within the institution that abused them. The questions relate to how they would like to engage, the survey has been through an ethical compliance board, and aims to widen the limited number of survivors the church already has contact with. It is really important that the very limited number of survivors currently with a voice are expanded to be more inclusive, I have been fighting for greater… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Patricia
20 days ago

As I said, I am willing to stand corrected if survivors think this is useful.

Last edited 20 days ago by Kate
Ex clergy
Ex clergy
Reply to  Patricia
19 days ago

Thank you. I am a survivor who is glad to be able to give feedback. I am busy trying to get any redress but the system totally frustrates me so this is a useful way to engage.
I understand the cynicism though.

RogerB
RogerB
19 days ago

I am a new churchwarden trying to understand the Church’s safeguarding procedures. I consider myself reasonably literate but find the article incomprehensible. It is too verbose for the majority of busy volunteer church workers to make time to understand it. What is a ‘survivor engagement framework’? and what is a ‘workstream’? The paragraph commencing ‘The survey is not about asking questions relating to …’ seems to be written in a version of English with which I am not familiar. I have attempted to translate it here: ‘The survey does not cover victims’ and survivors’ experiences of abuse. It aims to find… Read more »

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  RogerB
19 days ago

One of your general points, RogerB, calling for more consideration of the realities of being a churchwarden is more than timely. In the last 17 years I have witnessed the explosion of demands on wardens and other volunteers – in some ways more onerous than those on clergy. I have seen several volunteers give up, unable to cope with the complexity of what the role has evolved into and the anxiety that that has caused. It is like a malignant tumour destroying as it grows. As to the writing of plain English, don’t look to the CofE for best practice.… Read more »

Patricia
Patricia
Reply to  RogerB
19 days ago

The document is not trying to manage safeguarding cases Churchwarden it is simply asking survivors how they would feel comfortable giving feedback and becoming involved in church decisions that may impact them directly. That is all. I think it is quite clear that it is written by someone whose first language is not English and clarification can be sought if needed however I have found that on the whole survivors inhabit a diverse world where it is no longer thought acceptable to translate into the Queen’s English what people of other ethnicities say and are used to mixing with people… Read more »

Graham
Graham
19 days ago

I am a victim. I find this desperately impersonal. If the CofE had proper engagement with victims, they would know, individually, what we want, what we want changed, what input we want. Anonymous victims ( myself) and even those known do not want an impersonal survey. The CofE and NST are well aware of my complaints. Primarily that, five years after the John Smyth story broke, and ten years after I first came forward, not a single person has been held to account. What victims want is justice, truth and an end to deflection and denial. Justin Welby was told… Read more »

Last edited 19 days ago by Graham
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