I wanted to update you on all that’s happened this year and what’s coming up in my CSA research. What I wanted to do with my research was improve things, even a tiny bit, and it looks like it is happening.

So this year we made a film ‘Flow.’ On the steering group were people with lived experience of childhood sexual abuse, including me, plus representatives from NHS England and the Department of Health. You can see the film here:

The aim was to highlight how difficult it is to talk about abuse and how people’s responses can make it harder. NB: There are no depictions of abuse in the film but it always makes me emotional.

I wrote an article, with my PhD supervisor Dr Tom Clark, that goes with the film. It’s free to read:

Cunnington, C., & Clark, T. (2022). ‘They would rather not have known and me kept my mouth shut:’ The role of neutralisation in responding to the disclosure of childhood sexual abuse. Qualitative Social WorkOnline, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1177/14733250221124300

The film was launched at Sheffield University’s Festival of the Mind in September. In October we ran a webinar for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (ISPCAN) and over 400 people from all over the world signed up (https://www.ispcan.org/?v=402f03a963ba). Here’s a wordle of where attendees came from. The bigger the word the more people came from that country.

wordcloud (5).png

Isn’t that amazing? The film was also accepted for the Birmingham International Film festival and nominated for Best film.

In November the film had its Australian premiere at the Compassion Revolution Conference in Melbourne (https://compassionrevolution.care/). Well I was in my kitchen at midnight but it looked lovely over zoom! Their mission is to bring compassion into healthcare – something I’m really happy to support.

Also in November I delivered training for Unravel (https://unravelsupport.co.uk/), who support children in emotional distress. This was great because I could use the information people told me about their experiences as a child to directly help people who support kids today.

Next year I’m looking to get the film subtitled in different languages and have had interest from UNICEF, JaSPCAN(Japanese Society for the prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect), Talk Hong Kong and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) amongst others to use the film in their work.

Also on the horizon NHS England may use the film in GP trauma informed care training, we (the film steering group) are beginning another academic article and the World Health Organisation have asked us to submit the film to their WHO Health for All Film Festival.

I really hope that, if you took part in the research, you feel you have had an impact with what you told me – we are making a difference.

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