Diocese of Carlisle

Reporting Abuse and Finding Support

If you are reading this page, it may be because something has happened to you, or is happening to you, and you are looking for support. Or you may be looking for support for someone close to you, or others who you believe are suffering.

There may be many reasons why you have not spoken out before.It can feel overwhelming and frightening, but it can also be the first step towards support, healing, and recovery. You are not to blame for what happened to you and there is support available.

It is your choice who you share your experience or concerns with. You will be heard and supported. Your concerns will be taken seriously, no matter how recent or long ago the abuse took place, or where it took place.

Within your local church or Parish, you may wish to speak to your Parish Safeguarding Officer or a member of the clergy. Details should be available on local websites and the Promoting a Safer Church posters within each Church.

In any situation, you can always contact the Diocesan Safeguarding Adviser (DSA) – Joanna Van Lachterop – 07458 016884 or safeguarding.adviser@carlislediocese.org.uk.

If your concern relates to a Church Officer, please contact the DSA directly. There may be other occasions where someone may have a safeguarding concern but does not wish to discuss this in the parish context.If this is the case, the DSA can be contacted directly.

We recognise however that if you have a lived experience of abuse involving your relationship with the Church, you might want to talk initially to someone not connected to our diocese.In that case you can contact the independent helpline Safe Spaces that specialises in supporting church related victims and survivors of abuse. They offer a helpline, a live web chat and website.Tel: 0300 303 105, Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm, with late opening until 7pm on Tuesdays. Email: safespaces@splitz.org or visit the website: Safe Spaces England and wales – Safe Spaces England and wales for further information.

If a child or adult is in immediate danger or requires medical attention, call the emergency services on 999.

Additional support can be found via the following helplines:

NSPCC Child Protection Helpline: 0808 800 5000 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are worried about a child and need advice or guidance on what to do.

Child-line: 0800 1111 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are a child or young person and are worried about anything.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247 (lines free and open 24 hours). Phone if you are experiencing domestic abuse or need help to report.

Samaritans Helpline: 116 123 (open 24 hours). Phone if you feel you are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to.

Action on Elder Abuse Helpline: 0808 808 8141 (free phone Monday to Friday 9-5pm)

National Rape Crisis Helpline: 0808 802 9999 and is open every day from 12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm.

The Survivors Trust: 0808 801 0818 and is open Monday to Wednesday 10-7.30pm, Thursday 10-6pm and Friday 10-2pm.

LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428

Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

Age UK Advice Line: 0800 678 1602

Modern Slavery: 08000 121 700