About the Project
‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’ is the name of a strategy jointly funded by Safe Spaces and the Diocese of Newcastle which aims to engage with survivors of faith-based abuse, as well as with those who need to see, hear and respond well to them. Our purpose is to promote the physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of those who have experienced trauma and abuse in the church. We’re doing this by providing peer support to victims and survivors, and also by helping to build up the church’s communal resources of compassion and confidence in responding well to those who disclose abuse, no matter how long ago it happened. Our work is part of the implementation of the Church of England’s new Guidance on how to respond well to victims and survivors of all kinds of abuse.
If you are a victim or survivor of church-based abuse, or if you are concerned that someone is experiencing or has experienced abuse in a church setting, this guide will help you understand what support you can expect from the Church. The guide summarises the "Responding Well to Victims and Survivors of Abuse" guidance, available on the Church of England website
About the Resources
We believe that one of the best ways we can help individuals and communities to respond well is through creative projects that create a space for conversation between those with lived experience and others in their communities. We think the imagination is one of the most powerful resources for fostering a more empathetic understanding of survivors’ needs and of what helpful responses might look and sound like. We also see such responses as intrinsic to the Christian message and to God’s healing grace working in us all, and we think that it is important that this be a part of the conversation, too.
For these reasons we have engaged in creative projects designed and delivered by those with lived experience, those who minister to them, and others in our communities who support our efforts. The result is a suite of accessible resources and materials developed by survivors of church-based abuse, complemented by original artwork and music created by survivors. Allies of survivors have also contributed, with this amazing strawberry biscuit recipe.
An infographic poster with seven supporting postcards expands on the strategy’s title, ‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’ Seven short films communicate the key messages simply and directly. Follow the links below to read the full text, watch the films or download the resources.
These resources include additional materials developed with top-up funding generously provided by the National Safeguarding Team. To encourage the use and redistribution of these resources, they are licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. For ideas on how these resources could be used, please click here.
These resources are intended for:
• those with lived experience of abuse in a church context, those who have spoken out and those who have not yet found a voice;
• the families and friends of those who have experienced church-based abuse and are living with the consequences;
• clergy and lay members of church bodies who need to see, hear and respond well to those who have experienced trauma and abuse in the church;
• colleagues in non-church professions who work with survivors of church-based abuse (e.g. mental health services) and need to understand the particular impacts of this abuse and how to respond well.
How can I Help?
If you are a survivor of faith based abuse or someone who supports a partner, friend or family member who has been hurt and harmed in a faith based context and would like to join a Peer Support Group to give and receive support, please contact Carol Butler (details below) who will give you further information.
If you have been affected by the content of any of these resources, or you need someone to talk to someone regarding these, pleases contact either:-
Diocese of Newcastle
Tel: 07825 167016
The Safe Spaces team,
contact details are available here
Please download and use these posters from Safe Spaces: