I have worked with survivors of sexual violence and abuse since 1996, when I was appointed manager of RoSA (Rape or Sexual Abuse Support) in Rugby. I have supported survivors in dealing with responses to their disclosures of abuse in care homes, faith and school settings, provided support with criminal and civil actions and in claiming criminal injuries compensation.
I helped establish The Survivors Trust (TST) in 2003 as a UK and Ireland network of specialist rape and sexual abuse support services with a membership of 70 specialist agencies. I was appointed CEO in 2004 and I attend a range of national groups and forums aimed at addressing the responses to survivors of and rape.
In the past four years, I have overseen the set-up of five new rape and sexual abuse support centres, funded through the government commitment to open 15 new centres. In addition to my role in TST I am a member of the National Police Chiefs Council Rape Working Group, and a member of the HMIC Rape Monitoring Group. I am also a member of the CPS External Stakeholder Group and the CPS Community Accountability Forum which raises issues of current concern facing survivors of sexual violence and abuse.
I was also a member of the now concluded ’s Commissioner’s Inquiry into Sexual Abuse in the Family Environment (CSAFE) and a member of the Research Advisory Group for the CSAFE research project. I was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of my work promoting survivors’ rights.