Jacki believes that childhood sexual abuse remains a taboo subject and that public unwillingness to engage with the issue makes it even more difficult for victims to come in from the cold and tell their stories.
It wasn't until 20 years ago that Jacki broke her silence to friends and family to speak about the abuse she had endured. Jacki had watched a television programme in which a woman spoke about the abuse she had suffered.
"Until then, I had never considered anyone else could have experienced the same as I had during my childhood. I had thought it was just me," she reveals. "I had felt so ashamed and guilty at what had happened to me and because of that, I had become very isolated. It was such a shock to suddenly realise that I was not alone."
What is childhood sexual abuse?
A child (anyone under 16) is sexually abused when another person, who is sexually mature, involves the child in any activity, which the other person expects to lead to sexual arousal. This might involve intercourse, touching, exposure of the genital organs, showing pornographic material or talking about sexual things in an erotic way.
The statistics are a shocking indictment of our society:
- Childhood sexual abuse occurs in one in five of the female population
- Around 45% of those who commit the abuse are a family member.
- Around 50% - 60% of psychiatric inpatients were sexually abused as children
- Around 67%-90% of women with alcohol or drug addiction problems were the victims of childhood sexual abuse.
- Almost half of childhood sexual abuse victims become victims of domestic violence – for the rest of the population, the figure is 17.5%.
Jacki admits that she is no expert on child abuse, but her book and the absorbing talks she gives comes straight from the heart striking a chord with those whose lives have been touched by this most difficult of subjects.
She hopes that the book, the talks and her charity work will provide a wind for change.
If you are looking for specialist support services in your area, please view The Survivors Trust Member Agencies for further information.
The Survivors Trust
Supporting Specialist Services for Survivors of Rape and Sexual Abuse
The origins of The Survivors Trust go back to 1999/2000 when key individuals within five specialist agencies began to actively seek a peer group.
These key agencies were: CIS'ters, Fire in Ice, Incest and Sexual Abuse Support, One in Four and Survivors UK. Meetings were held in London and it quickly became clear that the energy at that time, and the synergy it created – was both powerful and optimistic.
These agencies became the founders of what was then a fledgling idea of a peer-group for individual workers and which quickly grew into the realisation of the dream of a national network for organisation, through which the unmet needs of all survivors, women, men, boys and girls, young and old, could be raised.
Throughout 2000 and 2001 the growing number of founding agencies took time to develop a vision of what a national network could provide, and how to offer other specialist agencies the chance to join. During this time – and after many hours of deliberation – the name 'The Survivors Trust' was adopted.
In March 2002, a major launch meeting was held in London, jointly hosted by One in Four and Survivors UK, with over 60 people attending, representing 30 organisations – all of which subsequently joined as organisational members.
Since 2002 The Survivors Trust has continued year on year to develop new partnerships and to make an impact at a national level. As at 2010, The Survivors Trust has over 125 member groups.