The Catholic Church across Yorkshire’s historic West Riding since 1878

Safeguarding

Help and support for victims and survivors

Please click here to download a PDF – Information regarding Local and National Support Services

Our Safeguarding Service is a safe point of contact for survivors and victims of abuse within the Catholic Church. We recognise that speaking out about abuse can be very difficult and distressing and you may not have felt able to tell anyone before. We are here to support you. If you contact us you will be heard and supported.  We will take any concerns you share seriously, as we appreciate how hard it can be to talk about what has happened to you.

You can contact the Safeguarding Office Monday to Friday between 8am – 4pm for a confidential conversation.  Our phone number is 0113 24618046.

We also understand that you may prefer to speak to someone else, especially if you were hurt by a member of the church.  Please find below contact details for some organisations that may be of help to you. If, however, the matter requires an immediate response then contact should be made directly with the Police: Police Emergency – Telephone: 999/Police Non-Emergency Number – Telephone: 101

What you can expect when you contact us

The Safeguarding Team will give you space to share your story and time to talk at your own pace. It is up to you what and how much you share depending on what you are comfortable with.

  • They will listen in a way that is non-judgmental and built on a foundation of respect for you and how you feel.
  • They might ask you some questions but this is only so they can better understand your experiences.
  • They will talk with you about different support options available.
  • They will let you know what will happen next and arrange a time to contact you again to give you feedback or an update.

We refer all disclosures of abuse to statutory agencies (Police, Children’s Services, Adult’s Services) in line with the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency’s guidelines (CSSA). We do this to protect other children and adults from harm. Even if you were abused a long time ago, your abuser might still be working with children or adults and we want to make sure they are not at risk.

Any referrals to statutory agencies will be made in discussion with you and you will be able to choose whether or not you consent to a police investigation.

The Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) updated National Policy for the support of those affected by allegations of abuse within a Church setting is available here.

Our Commitment to Survivors

We are aware that talking to someone who works for the Diocese of Leeds about abuse you experienced within the church may feel daunting or you might not feel that you can trust us. Please be assured that everyone who works in the Safeguarding Team has made a commitment to survivors of abuse and are dedicated to ensuring you are heard and that children and adults at risk are kept safe.

Our charter sets out our commitment and care to victims and survivor

If you don’t feel ready to talk to us just yet…

It can take time to feel comfortable to talk about abuse and only you will know when the time is right. When you do make contact, we’ll be here to listen and support you.

Until then, there are a number of other organisations that provide support, advice and guidance to survivors and victims of abuse:

Safe Spaces – Is a free and independent support service for anyone who has experienced abuse in relation to the Church of England, the Church in Wales or the Catholic Church of England and Wales. This could be abuse by someone who holds any role at the church or is linked to participating in a church-led activity or group.

If you have been affected, however long ago, Safe Spaces can provide you with support. You do not have to have told the police or the church authorities, and you do not have to still be involved with the church. Your information will not be shared without your consent unless you or someone else is in immediate danger.

The Safe Spaces team is available on its helpline Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday 9am-1pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.  You can also email them or contact them anonymously via the chat facility on their website.

Telephone: 0300 303 1056
Email: safespaces@firstlight.org.uk

Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors (MACSAS) – Supports women and men who have been sexually abused, as children or adults, by ministers, clergy or others under the guise of the Church.
Telephone: 08088 010340 (Saturday, 9am – 11:30am and Wednesday, 7pm – 9:30pm)

The National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) – Offers support to adult survivors of all types of childhood abuse.
Telephone: 0808 801 0331 (Monday to Thursday, 10am – 9pm, and Friday, 10am – 6pm)

National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) – The UK’s leading children’s charity.
Telephone: 0808 800 5000 (Monday to Friday, 8am – 10pm, and 9am – 6pm at the weekends)

Rape Crisis England & Wales – Provides specialist information and support to all those affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and all other forms of sexual violence and abuse.
Telephone: 0808 500 2222 (24 hours, 7 days a week)

Refuge – Help for women and children experiencing domestic abuse/violence.
Telephone:
 0808 2000 247 (24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline)

Replenished – Support for those who have experienced abuse and trauma in a religious context.
Telephone: 07746 153703 (Monday and Tuesday, 9am – 5pm)

Respect – Helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.
Telephone: 0808 801 0327 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm)

Stop It Now – UK wide charity dedicated solely to preventing child sexual abuse.
Telephone: 0808 1000 900 (Monday to Thursday, 9am – 9pm, and Friday, 9am – 5pm)

Unseen – A UK charity that provides safe houses and support in the community for survivors of trafficking and modern slavery.
Telephone: 08000 121 700 (24-Hour Modern Slavery and Exploitation Helpline)

Women’s Aid – Charity for women and children who are living with domestic abuse.

Karma Nirvana – A charity that helps anyone who has been affected by Honour Based Abuse.
Telephone: 0800 5999 247 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm)

Mankind – Help and support for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence.
Telephone: 01823 334244 (Monday to Friday, 10am – 4pm)

Childine – Free and confidential help and advice service for anyone under the age of 19.
Telephone: 0800 1111 (24 hours, 7 days a week)

Galop – Supporting LGBT+ people who have experienced abuse and violence.
Telephone:  0800 999 5428 (LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline. Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm, and Wednesday and Thursday, 10am – 8pm)

This list is not exhaustive, more information can be found at (see attached booklet