"I cannot begin to explain to anyone who has not experienced either sexual abuse or sexual violence how devastating and long lasting the damage can be."
"Many women are left with very low self-esteem, no confidence, little idea of a how a loving relationship should be and limited ability to express their needs within a relationship. There is a strong likelihood that she will engage in abusive relationships all her life because that is how she has been taught. It was my vision to find a way to help, support and encourage other women and teenage girls who have experienced sexual abuse or violence."
A victim of sexual abuse as a child – and further abuse in a short-lived adult relationship following the dissolution of her marriage - Jacki now campaigns tirelessly through her charity Women For Change which aims to provide women who have suffered childhood sexual abuse or violence with help, support and encouragement towards healing self-esteem and building confidence in a better future.
Jacki also works closely with the Survivors Trust - www.thesurvivorstrust.org - which provides an umbrella agency for more than 120 specialist organisations across the UK who provide a range of counselling, therapeutic and support services.
These voluntary sector groups work with women, men and children who are victims/survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse.
The Survivors Trust has been in existence for more than a decade when five specialist agencies – CIS’ters, Fire in Ice, Incest and Sexual Abuse Support, One in Four and Survivors UK – got together to form a powerful group, which has now created a dynamic national network. This formidable grouping means that the unmet needs of all survivors; women, men, boys and girls, both young and old, can now be tackled.
“I want to get people thinking and talking about these issues,” explains Jacki. “It is a shocking statistic that one in five women and one in 11 young men report childhood sexual abuse. These are only reported statistics and it is reckoned that around 30% don’t disclose the abuse until much later in life.”