Lecturer publishes report helping professionals understand impact of childhood sexual abuse

A new report documenting the lived experience of survivors of childhood sexual abuse is published today (24 November), produced by Senior Lecturer, Christiane Sanderson, an expert on child abuse at the University of Roehampton.

Posted: 24 November 2015

image for news story Lecturer publishes report helping professionals understand impact of childhood sexual abuse
Author of the new report and book out today, Christiane Sanderson.

The report, Survivors’ Voices: Breaking the silence on living with the impact of child sexual abuse in the family environment, has been published by the charity One in Four. It contains written accounts by survivors and provides illuminating testimony of the impact of childhood sexual abuse.

Despite recent high profile cases and a 50 per cent rise in survivors seeking counselling, help and support, evidence compiled in the report suggests that 90 per cent of abuse goes unreported to the police. The report also found 70 per cent of childhood sexual abuse takes place within the family, with many contributors reporting feelings of shame and fear after the abuse had taken place.

Christiane Sanderson said: “Sexual abuse is not just something that happened in a person’s childhood. It can remain alive inside them and their families, sustained by secrecy and silence to protect the abuser and other relatives. My work with One in Four is calling for greater awareness and better training for those working in healthcare, to help them recognise and manage cases involving childhood sexual abuse. It is vital health professionals understand this process so they can treat survivors and help them to process their past experience.”

Coinciding with the publication of the report is the release of Christiane Sanderson’s new book Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. The book, also published by One in Four, is aimed at health care professionals. It provides advice, guidance and key practice points including how to manage disclosure, identify vulnerabilities, and how to direct survivors into specialist care pathways.

This morning Christiane Sanderson appeared on Sky News alongside one of the survivors who contributed to the report to discuss its findings. The report will be available to download on the One in Four website. The report and book will be officially launched at a central London event hosted by the Survivors’ Trust.

Roehampton offers one of the largest range of therapeutic training courses in the country. Find out more about the Psychology and Counselling courses on offer here.

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