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Adult Survivors of Childhood Abuse

The Scottish Government is moving forward with its commitment to improve the care and treatment of adult survivors of childhood abuse.  The SurvivorScotland strategy is now ten years old.  Whilst its initial focus was on child sexual abuse the strategy's policy work and the work of those delivering services to surviviors has rightly covered all forms of abuse.

Our work to date has highlighted the complexity of issues which surround those who have been abused and the need for coordinated, integrated resources, care, treatment and support.

Our vision for Scotland's adult survivors of childhood abuse is rooted in the Scottish ambition for all citizens to be healthy, active participants in all aspects of Scottish life. Although a great deal has been achieved so far we must take steps to recognise and tackle the significant inequalities that survivors often experience as a result of their abuse and ensure that as policies and services are developed and the needs of survivors are met.

Future Priorities

Survivor Support Policy Team have been engaging with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse and the key messages that survivors of abuse have told us are important to them are:

  • That children and young people today should not experience abuse
  • Support for survivors should be lifelong
  • That support should be needs based and include advocacy, support and case management
  • That support should be integrated and joined up with specialist services when required
  • That support should be available across a range of domains of wellbeing
  • That support should be accessible to all survivors and their families
  • That justice and reparation for the suffering they have experienced should be readily and easily accessible

We have learned a lot about what matters to survivors and that services need to be responsive to individual needs and personal outcomes. A continued focus for the work of the Survivor Support Policy Team will be to improve and develop our workforce and the services they deliver that treat, care for and support survivors across all domains of health and wellbeing including physical, psychological and social in a person centred approach.

In Care Survivor Support Fund Service

The Scottish Government has made a commitment to work with survivors to develop an In Care Survivor Support Fund Service.  £13.5m over five years (2015-2020) was announced by Ms Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

The approach and delivery model that is being taken forward will be based on an expanded brokerage, development and commissioning model designed around the needs of survivors. It will be a Scotland wide service with outreach capabilities to enable survivors in all geographical locations to have access to resources, support, care and treatment as part of a 'core' service provision.

On 14 March 2016, the Scottish Government announced that a consortium bid consisting of three organisations: Penumbra; Health in Mind and the Mental Health Foundation, supported by a further 26 organisations that provide services for survivors across Scotland, had been successful in securing the tender to administer the In Care Survivor Support Fund for people who were abused while in care as children.  Work has been underway to enable the operational systems and processes to be put in place and it is expected the Support Fund will become fully operational in the autumn.

During the initial stages the proposal is to build a non-core, discretionary, payment element into the Service. This will not provide compensation payments to survivors, but will make non-recurring funding available for a range of ad hoc requirements to provide pragmatic support in meeting survivors' social needs and personal outcome goals. 

Survivors should be supported to have equal access to integrated care, support and treatment resources and services to reduce the impact of the inequalities and disadvantage they have experienced as a result of abuse. This is at the centre of the proposals for the In Care Survivor Support Fund Service.

Further information about the results of the tender to administer the Survivor Support Fund appeared in a News Release on "Removing time bar" published on the Scottish Government website on March 14, 2016.


Financial Help

Innovation and Development Funding 2015-16

Innovation and Development Funding of almost £1.8 million has been allocated to survivor services for 2015-16 to support the delivery of the Strategic Outcomes and Priorities 2015-17 approach.

Survivors tell us three outcomes are important to them:

  • A Healthier Life: Survivors are enabled and supported to enjoy an attainable standard of living, health and family life
  • Choice and Control: Survivors are treated with dignity and respect and are empowered and enabled to access the right support
  • Safety and Security: Survivors have access to resources and services which are trauma informed and have the capacity to recognise and respond to the signs of childhood abuse


Strategic Outcome 1 - A Healthier Life Purpose Amount
Cornerstone Finding the Voice Project for Survivors with learning disabilities £22,323
Hear Me Outreach support across Angus £33,348
Western Isles Rape Crisis Outreach support for survivors £21,949
Roshni Ethnic Survivors Forum £38,420
Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis Partnership work of a trauma recovery service across Argyll and Bute £36,472
Talk Now Advocacy support and development of partnership support £51,664
Izzy's Promise To develop integrated services for abuse survivors in Dundee £28,888
South West Rape Crisis Development of counselling and advocacy support £30,000
Children's 1st Part time worker for therapeutic trauma recovery and support for Survivors Unite £22,410
Break the Silence To develop the capacity of the service £33,290
Mind Mosiac Advocacy, counselling and specialist trauma counselling £40,666
Moira Anderson Foundation Hands on Health Programme £42,713
Speak Out Scotland Development of partnership approach to services for male survivors £34,725
Open Secret To train a member of staff on Hands on Health with a view to testing £19,037
Open Secret To integrate EMDR work in NHS Forth Valley and NHS Lanarkshire £41,256
Glasgow Council on Alcohol To develop an integrated community hub £76,000
Shetland Survivors Abuse Group To develop a holistic and person centred service £49,010
Strategic Outcome 2 - Choice and Control    
Falkirk Council Development of Public Social Partnership £36,000
Lothian Rivers Centre Development of Public Social Partnership £120,234
Moira Anderson Foundation Development of Public Social Partnership £16,380
Argyll and Bute Rape Crisis Development of Public Social Partnership £14,802
Moira Anderson Foundation Report on existing services and best practice across Europe £10,000
Strategic Outcome 3 - Safety and Security    
Stop It Now! Scotland Prevention toolkit £60,426
Stop It Now! Scotland Early intervention to prevent sexual abuse in Scotland £67,804
Roshni E-Learning programme for frontline staff £21,000
NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Development of training framework £121,923
Barnardos Programme for young adults presenting with sexually harmful behaviour as a result of trauma £46,289