One in four people have experienced childhood sexual abuse or negect [sic]... Are you one of them?
Ealing Abbey Counselling Service is running a new group with you in mind.
This mixed group for adult survivors of abuse will offer a safe and confidential space to gain support. It is open to people of all sexual preferences who want to come to terms with childhood sexual trauma.
The effects of childhood sexual abuse emotional abuse or neglect can be toxic. These can include; low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, fear of intimacy, shame - guilt, substance abuse, social withdrawal, numbness and an inability to form trusting relationships.
Nice of them to start trying to clear up a mess the abbey has contributed so much to creating. Ealing Abbey itself has probably created hundreds of such victims. No shortage of potential demand for such services then!
And also nice of them to describe how serious are the effects of child sexual abuse. Perhaps they can take account of that when they find themselves defending another civil suit concerning child sexual abuse by one or other of the priests. Bound to happen sometime soon.
Perhaps they can also put their house in order and not make any further contribution to that 1-in-4 statistic. Having a written, published and effective safeguarding policy of the Abbey and Parish would be a start (there isn't one published or referred to on the Abbey website yet), and get the School's child protection policy into a fit state.
Until then, I can't think of a worse place to run such a course. I've nothing against Richard Simpson and Maja Zivkovic, who are running the course. I've no reason to think they are not well-qualified and experienced counsellors. The problem is that to hold such a course on premises owned and run by the Abbey, when child sexual abuse has been a particular problem there and when there are not yet adequate safeguarding arrangements in place seems to me to be the height of irresponsibility.
This is the objective of the course.
The emphasis of this group is to be therapeutic and supportive. Over the course of the four weeks the group will explore issues around self-esteem, anger, assertiveness and trauma whilst also providing positive tools to help build and strengthen relationships.I very much hope that they do not take any clients who suffered childhood sexual abuse at the hands of any priests or teachers at Ealing Abbey, and preferably not at the hands of anybody within the Catholic Church as a whole.
To accept such clients would leave them open to accusations of conflict of interest. Increasing a victim's self-esteem may have the result of activating a willingness to take action against the perpetrators and those who have sheltered them.
Overall, this is a staggeringly bad idea, and reflects extremely badly on the judgement of whoever authorised it.