There are moments, there are moments that pass, and then there are moments that matter. The enormous reaction to the Everyone’s Invited movement is a moment that matters. This initiative shines a light on the deeply entrenched and almost normalised rape culture existing around us. Media coverage has so far focused on sexual assault and abuse mainly within private and independent schools. We know, though, that this extends far beyond schools.
NAPAC provides support for adult survivors of any gender and of any kind of childhood abuse, be that physical, sexual, emotional or narcissistic abuse and neglect. Over the past five weeks NAPAC has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of young adults – whom we are defining as aged 18-25 – contacting us for support and advice.
Some are young adult victims and survivors speaking about the abuse they experienced within schools. Others are speaking about abuse from their peers. Abuse within the family and child-on-child abuse are other strong themes. And this is why this is a moment that matters. It focuses attention on abuse and trauma. It compels everyone to question what they thought was normal.
This is a fast-moving situation and government, policing, and third sector support organisations like NAPAC are working together to coordinate a unified national response over the coming days and weeks. More shocking testimonies will emerge. Wider societal attitudes and norms will have to be examined.
In amongst all the media coverage and social media trends, it is worth recalling a fundamental fact – that abuse happens where power meets vulnerability. No environment is immune to this, not schools, not families, not institutions. What matters is the environment’s response to this fact.
At NAPAC, we know from our work over the years with many thousands of survivors the difference that the right support at the right time can make. To survivors of any age thinking of reaching out for support, we’re here for you – whenever you are ready. We have resources on our website, and a telephone support line and email support service for you.
Links and resources
Everyone’s Invited – https://www.everyonesinvited.uk/
NAPAC’s online resources – https://napac.org.uk/resources/
NAPAC’s survivor support services – https://napac.org.uk/calling-our-support-line/