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The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency is committed to working with those who report having been harmed by abuse, regardless of whether this has been proven, to shape an effective safeguarding service.
We value the unique knowledge and wisdom that can only come from listening to those who have been harmed by abuse. Our commitment is for those who have been harmed by abuse to be accepted and valued as contributing members of the Church, and for them to have a sense of belonging to the community of the Catholic Church.Engagement is based on a recognition that those who have been harmed by abuse have a depth of insight and expertise drawn from their own unique, personal experiences. We will seek to build appropriate, trusting relationships, recognising that those who have been harmed by abuse are not a homogenous group. For some this engagement will be through the formal committee structure, and for others it will be on a more personal level with an individual approach through both conversations on a one-to-one or small group basis. Any contact or engagement will be in a way that respects the needs and wellbeing of those who wish to engage with us.Care and support of those who have been harmed by abuse with whom we build these relationships will be at the forefront, ensuring that any engagement does not create anxiety or the possibility of re-traumatisation for the individual involved. Positive engagement can be part of the healing process for the person who has been harmed by abuse, and care will be taken to ensure that those we speak with are not adversely affected.We will be sensitive to those we speak with, and not presume to know what they can offer. Open and transparent conversations will help identify areas where the wisdom and experience of those who have been harmed by abuse could make a difference. It is for the individual who has been harmed by abuse to decide which discussions they would feel comfortable contributing to. Suggestions from those who have been harmed by abuse will be welcomed and considered as part of the ongoing development of the safeguarding service.Confidentiality and privacy will be respected. Where there is information or feedback from those who have been harmed by abuse to be shared with the CSSA, the nature and content will be agreed. Those who disclose abuse or make new disclosures will be listened to and treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. Where new disclosures are made, these will be handled appropriately and in accordance with national safeguarding policy and procedures which include the reporting of abusers to statutory authorities.