Just wanted to say how brilliant your continued campaign to get the Diocese of Chichester to take responsibility has been - and how the pressure that you and your brother are putting on the church is bringing such amazing results. After so many years I can only guess at the stress this must cause you both but believe me you have made a real difference to the way that I can acknowledge and deal with the abuse I suffered under this “regime”. And I assume that must go for many other survivors too.
The most important thing for survivors is to be believed and without question - it is also important that the law must take its course and that those responsible for actual abuse as well as for the ‘culture of abuse’ be held responsible. But as you have shown, this takes a huge amount of time, effort and emotional energy on the part of the survivors before anything that can be called a result can occur. Your work over these past years has been a). amazing, b). a real source of inspiration and comfort and I wholeheartedly applaud you for your strength and your courage and your perseverance.
Thank you so much helping me and all survivors of clerical sexual abuse to have their voices heard and their experience validated.
My name is Dave, I've been to Survivors now two times. I was abused at the tender age of 8years old, I used to feel worthless, lifeless, had flashbacks but I felt a fresh of breath air after going to Survivors at Brightview. The people are all there for different reasons and friendly after speaking out about my bad experiences I now feel I can give something back by coming back occasionally to trying and help others. I wish to thank Phil & Mel for allowing me to come at leisure.
I joined Eastbourne Survivors Group earlier this year as I felt I needed support to cope with my history of sexual child abuse. I have found the group invaluable. I can honestly say I don’t know where I would be without it, whether I participate or just sit & listen to others in the group I feel like I am in a place where I can be just me & don’t feel so alone with my struggles.
Sometimes just hearing what other people are going through makes me feel more ‘normal’ because I can relate to what they are saying. Child abuse is such a hard thing to deal with as it isn’t something that is easy to talk to with friends or family members, & being part of a group where I can share my fears, struggles, thoughts etc helps me cope & helps me on my path to recovery.
I am very fortunate that I have a supportive partner but I can see that the group is even more vital for those who do not have a partner, or whose partner is not supportive. I also think another positive thing of the group is that it does include partners. I know my partner who comes with me finds it helpful as it helps her understand me a bit more, which has a positive impact on our relationship which in turn helps my recovery.
I wish I had had the courage to attend this group years ago but glad that I have done so now & I hope the group continues for many years to help me & people like me.
My partner 'L' joined the Eastbourne Survivors Group in early 2014. The group has been invaluable to 'L'....to be able to go somewhere where she can talk about her experiences, feelings, fears and ongoing problems to a unique group of people who know and understand is of the utmost importance to her. Even if she doesn't feel like talking or sharing, just being with a group of people who have been through something similar is of great comfort.
She looks forward to the group and always gets something out of it. Just hearing other people's experiences or problems makes her feel less alone, and is a reminder to her that the problems she has are normal and shared and therefore makes her feel less weird or abnormal.
As a partner I support 'L' in every way I can but I also feel supported by attending the group. Where else can I meet people who experience the same type of issues with their partner? It helps me to have somewhere to take 'L' that can help her.
We both want to attend the group for as long as 'L' feels the need to and especially now whilst she is going through one of the most difficult times of her adulthood.
Eastbourne Survivors group has helped me through some difficult times, the support from the facilitators and group members has helped me to become stronger. I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to come to this group when I needed it most and that it is available to others whenever they need help and support too.
Dear Judy and Vicky, Phil and Mel
I have been coming to survivors in Eastbourne for four years now. I find it very friendly and welcoming group. I struggle to talk in a large group, but I do talk with a bit of encouragement, which helps me such a lot. If I am struggling with issues that I need help with, there are other survivors there to give advise and help. They have been through similar experiences to myself so I felt safe and trust several members of the group and I am getting better with some men, although still wary of others. I have made some friends and have even met one for lunch which was nice for both of us. So I would like to say thank you to everyone who runs the survivors group for making the group happen and give such positive support to such a lot of people who are struggling with what has happen to them during their childhood and are only just coming to speak about it as adults. It is extremely painful and difficult subject but the people who run the survivors group help us survivors to feel we can go on living for another two weeks as we know in two weeks time there will be friendly familiar faces to warmly greet us again.
I would like to thank Judy and Vicky for starting and running the group for 22 years and to say you will be greatly missed by us all
As I think I have said before I go to a survivors group in Eastbourne, and I wanted to use this post, especially as I went tonight, to write about how I appreciate the group and what it does for me.
I started going over 2 years ago now, at first it was really scary, but I was leaving Lavender and I wanted somewhere I could go where I felt accepted and could talk about the issues of being a survivor. I have been to groups before and didn't get on with them, but they have all been behavioural therapy groups. So I was absolutely terrified before I walked in. I had so many questions going though my head, what would other people be like? Would people expect me to talk? And so on and so on. I soon found that although I was very very anxious I felt welcomed from the minute I walked through the door, and that support groups are very different to behavioural therapy groups where they want you to just modify your behaviour.
My friends are fantastic, and they are my family, but I wanted somewhere I could go that I didn’t feel that I was “putting on” them, not that my friends make me feel like that, but I sometimes (OK a lot) worry about it. The group I go to is unique because its for both male and female survivors and for their partners. I was scared by males at first, but I have found by going that I am actually less scared by them in the general world than I was before, as people have made me realise that not all males are out to get me, like in my history.
I feel appreciated and that people get me, and my dissociation as well as the DID. I find that when I talk I get good feedback with ideas that I can try, something that in a way that only people who have been there, in similar situations, can do.
As people know from reading this, I haven’t had the best of years, and the group, as well as my friends have been there. And I have made friends through the group. I am so glad that I took that step and walked through that door back in 2012, and didn’t run away as every bone in my body wanted me to do, as it has helped me survive!
I attended one of your meetings last Tuesday evening and wanted to thank you.
I am a 46 year old male that was raped when i was 15. over the years i have been offered
different types of councilling and unfortunately i never attended once.
At this time of my life i have now decided to try to put myself at peace and not be ruled by
my past, and so, coming to your meeting i was at first a little nervous but happy to say that
these nerves quickly subsided. Everyone was so friendly and helpfull that i soon felt quite at
ease, one reason i guess is that as a male and being raped by a male, your group was
almost all women. To me i get more nervous around larger groups of men and so this meeting
like a breath of fresh air to me.
I actually wish i had had more insight to how you guy's work and the nature of your groups, I really
would have come years ago ! I've found a new hope for myself and you will be seeing a lot more
of me in your next meetings.
So thank you for being there and the tremendous work that you are doing, not just for me but also
for all those that have , do and will pass through your door.