Hurt By Abuse


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The Hurt By Abuse Project has been led by our Sessional Support Facilitator Julie Howorth, who could be contacted by telephone on 07502 353 226.

Until further notice, telephone calls to Julie's answerphone will be picked up by the Safeguarding Office and diverted appropriately.

If you are calling and wish to talk about abuse, you do not have to give identity details either of yourself, or the person or persons who hurt you.

Someone will always respond to the messages or emails unless you say that you do not want a response. 



Julie is currently assisting with the evaluation of the Hurt By Abuse project.

For a general questionnaire, please click here

We invite you to give us your views about the project and to comment on any aspect of safeguarding or our work to support people hurt by abuse.

If you have received support either via the HBA project or the Safeguarding Office, please print off a detailed questionnaire here.

Please see both pages of the attached leaflet for what support is on offer, useful contacts and more on Julie's role.

The Hurt By Abuse Project has been using the Vision for a Catholic Church guidelines which care for victims and the wider Hurt by Abuse Leaflet which includes general information and sources of help for those hurt by abuse. Here is our committment - Something Inside So Strong.

Please look out for leaflets being delivered to your parish and feel free to share these widely throughout and outside of your parish community.


The Goddard Enquiry 

The Goddard Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is now launched and a report will be expected by 2020. For further details about the Terms of Reference and how the Catholic Church will be involved, please link directly to the website at, which provides a very clear explanation of the enquiry and the processes surrounding it, especially the evidence gathering structures, and the victims and survivors consultative panel.

The purpose of the Goddard Enquiry is to:

1. Consider the extent to which State and non-State institutions have failed in their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation; to consider the extent to which those failings have since been addressed; to identify further action needed to address any failings identified; to consider the steps which it is necessary for State and non-State institutions to take in order to protect children from such abuse in future; and to publish a report with recommendations.

2. In doing so to:

  • Consider all the information which is available from the various published and unpublished reviews, court cases, and investigations which have so far concluded;
  • Consider the experience of survivors of child sexual abuse; providing opportunities for them to bear witness to the Inquiry, having regard to the need to provide appropriate support in doing so;
  • Consider whether State and non-State institutions failed to identify such abuse and/or whether there was otherwise an inappropriate institutional response to allegations of child sexual abuse and/or whether there were ineffective child protection procedures in place;
  • Advise on any further action needed to address any institutional protection gaps within current child protection systems on the basis of the findings and lessons learnt from this inquiry;
  • Disclose, where appropriate and in line with security and data protection protocols, any documents which were considered as part of the inquiry;
  • Liaise with ongoing inquiries, including those currently being conducted in Northern Ireland and Scotland, with a view to (a) ensuring that relevant information is shared, and (b) identifying any State or non-State institutions with child protection obligations that currently fall outside the scope of the present Inquiry and those being conducted in the devolved jurisdictions;
  • Produce regular reports, and an interim report by the end of 2018; and
  • Conduct the work of the Inquiry in transparent a manner as possible, consistent with the effective investigation of the matters falling within the terms of reference, and having regard to all the relevant duties of confidentiality.

A letter from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Conference of Religious states “As a Church in these countries, we acknowledge our history in the arena of child sexual abuse; but we also have a compelling story to tell of how we have addressed these issues through our safeguarding reviews by Lord Nolan and Baroness Cumberledge and the ongoing work of the NCSC and CSAS.”

The Safeguarding Commission is aware that the enquiry may raise issues for many individuals within our communities, and invites contact with the Safeguarding Officer or the Hurt by Abuse helpline for anyone who has any queries or concerns. We will provide further information as the enquiry proceeds. Lisa Markham has already addressed the Trustees about some possible implications.


I am being abused by someone in the Church.  What should I do? 

Please tell someone as soon as possible. What you say will be taken seriously.
If you have any concerns about your immediate safety, you should contact the police on 999 or your local social services department.
Otherwise, you can chose who you talk to including the Safeguarding Co-ordinator, who is available at any time by mobile on 07909 117964, or your own parish’s Local Safeguarding Representative.
A list of names and telephone numbers for the Local Safeguarding Representatives can be found on the Meet the Team Page.

Alternatively, you may prefer to tell someone in the Church that you already know, such as a priest or a youth leader. They will make sure that you get help. They need to let one of the above people know if there is a child or adult protection matter to be dealt with.
It is the policy of the Catholic Church to always inform statutory authorities (Police and Social Services) that abuse has been alleged. This is done in order to prevent further abuse from happening and to make sure that past abuse is properly dealt with.
It is best not to let the abuser know you are going to talk to someone about the abuse as they may attempt to interfere. This could prevent you from getting help for yourself or helping to stop someone else being abused by the same person.


I have suffered abuse by someone in the Church in the past.  What should I do? 

Understandably, many people find it difficult to tell anyone about the abuse they have experienced.  It may be many years after the event before a disclosure is made. Whenever you choose to tell, you will be listened to and what you have to say will be taken seriously. 
There are some people in the Church who have special responsibility for safeguarding. Details of your Diocesan Safeguarding Team can be found via the relevant Diocesan website (available under the “Links” page of this site).
Alternatively, you may prefer to tell someone in the Church that you already know such as a priest or a youth leader. Hopefully, they will make sure that you get help.  They need to let one of the above people know that there was a child protection matter to be dealt with. 
If you have any concerns about responses to anything you say about experiences of abuse, the Safeguarding Commission or Clergy Advisor would be glad to hear from you.



How does the Church support those who have experienced abuse? 

In the past there have been people who have been abused by Church personnel and who found the response of the Church to be inadequate and uncaring.  The Church is committed to continuing to learn how to respond in a supportive and healing way to the needs of those who have suffered abuse. 
The Church has a National Policy for the Support of Those Affected by Allegations of Abuse Within a Church Setting, available from, section 3.4.  This policy embodies the pastoral responsibility of the Church towards those affected by abuse and seeks to ensure that the support needs of all those affected by abuse are effectively addressed.


Useful Documents



Hurt by Abuse Open Seminars 

If you have any ideas for seminar topics you would find helpful or would like to have considered, please contact Jo Pearson, the Safeguarding Administrator, on 0114 256 6453 or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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