A View: The Blog

A view from inside the box

‘Ancestor’

The earliest known record of recovery from sexual abuse Let them not deceive us this as a modern phenomenon. We have ancestors who are also survivors. They had no words in their time for what they suffered. They too were spirits struggling to live in their bodies. They took another path and retreated into their…

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Random Breakfast Conversations and SISU as a Male CSA Survivor Activist.

On a lovely June morning in 2011, I was having breakfast with Michael Kaufman (www.michaelkaufman.com) and his wife. Michael is the internationally acknowledged, co-founder of the original Canadian White Ribbon campaign which started in the early 1990’s. We’d both spoken at a conference on the previous 2 days exploring interpersonal violence with a focus on…

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A brief insight into the current thoughts and perspectives of Bob Balfour

Founder/CEO of Survivors West Yorkshire & Ben’s Place   What is the biggest challenge you’re facing at the moment? There are lots both personal and professional – It’s hard to pick just one! However, I would suggest it’s really keeping the faith, after 20 years of campaigning for improved services for sexual violence survivors, that…

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What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!’ Does this apply to male survivors?

Is it true what they say? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! I often wondered about this? Especially during some testing points of my life, it certainly didn’t feel like I was stronger from the experience. However, according to German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, the notion that people can build up their strength from going…

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Reflections on the Current State of Online Counselling

“Rather than fight how people reach for help, let’s optimise how they actually heal online”  Emily Sorensen 2017   Online counselling has been around for decades, but it is only just becoming better known in the public. Some leading providers are Talkspace, BetterHelp and Breakthrough, but these are just the tip of the iceberg –…

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‘Why are we waiting for them to fall apart?’ – working towards a trauma-informed West Yorkshire and world

Reflections on a well-attended multi-agency event to consider ‘What would a Trauma-Informed Community look like?’ Despite the brilliant blue of the Autumn sky and the vibrant atmosphere of the bustling college campus outside, I found myself genuinely excited to settle down for an afternoon in a darkened lecture theatre among over 130 colleagues in Bradford…

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Lobbying for social change from a place of vulnerability

It’s been an interesting 17 years of activism. I have spoken to over 3,000 sexual violence survivors, male and female, since the publication of Lost in Care (2000), Sir Ronald Waterhouse’s report into abuse in children’s homes across North Wales. We’ve had nearly five years of almost daily disclosures of new sexual abuse scandals. However, it’s still challenging for…

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Ben’s story

Ben’s grooming and sexual abuse happened from the age of 11 to 14. As part of the initial grooming process, the groomer supplied drugs and alcohol and encouraged a sense of rebellion. During this time, Ben demonstrated a number of difficult behaviours including truanting and theft and also attempted suicide several times. Did anyone try to…

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Finding our voices: Surviving, thriving and writing

Lately I’ve been thinking about what it means to find my ‘voice’, to speak my own truth. I’ve been working on that for a lifetime. (That’s 43 years and counting.) I’ve still got a long way to go but I’m learning fast. Me, CSA and voice All the childhood sexual abuse (CSA) survivors I’ve known,…

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