Voicing Child Sex Abuse through
Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000
DescriptionVoicing CSA is small organization with the vital mission. We empower survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) and child sexual exploitation (CSE) to speak, be listened to and to find the proper channels to help in recovery. We also encourage them to speak to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (The Truth Project), so the scale of the problem is fully recognized and addressed.
To reach out to and empower people affected by child sexual abuse/exploitation Voicing CSA needs funds to create some highly targeted communications products.
In 2017 we started to work with our ambassador, Chris Harper (Nathan in Coronation Street), and developed #TheMouse https://voicingcsa.uk/themouse: the first in a series of 90 second animated films that helps us fulfil our mission. It depicts key traits of an abusive relationship through the metaphor of a captured mouse. Abuse takes many forms and victims encounter multiple barriers to seeking help. These experiences can leave them feeling isolated and ashamed throughout their lives.
Our vision is to develop and screen the next two films as a vital part of our part of our communication activity. Enabling Voicing CSA to act as a bridge that can reach out to even the most vulnerable and isolated in society including e.g. people in prison, mental health institution or experiencing homelessness. Films may reach them directly, through professional intermediaries or their families. Seeing the films can be the first step to helping them to overcome years of institutional neglect of the underlying challenges in their lives that abuse and/or exploitation has exacerbated.
The next films: #TheSharks and #TheProfessionals will express the danger and suffocation abuse inflicts, and then the ways in which authority figures, often unwittingly, fail to support victims as they seek help.
#TheMouse was launched in line with the climax of the Coronation Street story line It got coverage on ITN and Channel 5 News, in the National Press and on ITV’s This Morning. It showed survivors across the country that they are not alone in their suffering and that there is a powerful, independent inquiry was underway to prevent future abuse.
On the day of the launch of #TheMouse, 8 survivors came forward to Voicing CSA alone. In addition, we are confident that thousands of conversations started in families and amongst friends that are laying down strategies to try to stop child sexual abuse happening in future. Nathan and Bethany’s Coronation Street storyline is not going away. The pain of her abuse will be revisiting her in the months to come. The Voicing CSA film series will encourage a public conversation about the impact of abuse and exploitation & give viewers an important call to action.
#TheSharks and #TheProfessionals will build on this excellent momentum continuing to encourage and empower victims and survivors to testify to the Truth Project, helping to bring light to these horrific crimes.
We are confident that we have a production model that works. The stories are carefully scripted by survivors at VCSA. There is then professional team in place that has all the skills we need. Chris Harper has pulled together a team of actors and voice over artists who have donated their time. He has recruited animators from Slurpy Studios and he negotiated for a massive contribution from them in terms of in-kind support. And, as an added bonus, we have linked up with a Collage Arts program to diversify the film industry by training animators and sound designers. The production of these films will kick-start the careers of highly talented young people working with professionals to create the best possible films and a new workforce.
This is not an easy subject for many people to think about. The crime thrives in shame and secrecy but now is the time for these conversations to happen. With the support of Aviva, we can make these conversations happen and help make children safer.