‘Break the Silence’ – 25 years of Survivors’ Network



Survivors’ Network are hosting two exciting events in November to celebrate their 25th Anniversary and promote their ‘Break the Silence’ campaign. The Sussex charity was established to support adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and over the past 25 years has grown and developed and now provides a wide range of services for those who have survived any form of sexual violence including a drop-in and helpline, counselling, and an independent advocacy service.

With approximately 3,000 assaults a year sexual violence is one of the most pervasive crimes in Sussex. It is also one of the most devastating violations anyone can experience and can have profound consequences to physical and psychological health. Despite this, misplaced taboo and stigma mean that it remains hidden and misunderstood. Moving forward Survivors’ Network want to tackle this most dangerous element of sexual violence, silence.

Fabia Bates, Director of Survivors’ Network, explained; “Abuse thrives on secrecy – the more that we talk about sexual violence the harder it becomes to keep it hidden. This includes everything from talking about consent to children and young people and challenging the myths and stereotypes that exist, to making sure that everyone feels confident that they can speak out about their experiences and will be listened to and believed.  If we open up the channels for discussion then we can reduce both the prevalence of sexual violence and its impact on the lives of survivors. One of the most important ways that you can support our work is to talk about it.”

To mark their 25 year anniversary, Survivors’ Network invite you to participate in the following events and support survivors of sexual violence;

Survivor's Network Open Space Event - Break the SilenceThe first event will be an Open Space conference – a forum for survivors, health professionals, teachers, journalists, police, supporters and anyone with a passion to be part of this change – to come together and help us address the issue. The Open Space format will put participants in the driving seat, letting them take control, collaborate and answer the question ‘How do we address sexual violence in the next 25 years?’  For more information please contact admin@survivorsnetwork.org.uk

Survivor's Network Firewalk - Break the SilenceThe second event is a community celebration for all the vital work which Survivors’ Network have done over the past 25 years. The 25th Anniversary will be held in Jubilee Square and feature a sponsored firewalk with 100 participants, a trio of local choirs, a photography exhibition on the ‘Breaking the Silence’ theme and an interactive craft stall to create a special, celebratory mural. For more information and to find out about how you can get involved, follow @Survivorsnetbtn or contact admin@survivorsnetwork.org.uk

Rape and sexual abuse can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, culture or social status. If you have experienced sexual violence at any point in your life then you can contact Survivors’ Network on 01273 203380, via email on admin@survivorsnetwork.org.uk or see www.survivorsnetwork.org.uk for details of their text, voice and email helpline.

If you would like someone to talk to outside of these hours, this information sheet provided by Survivors’ Network has details of all the other relevant helplines across the country.