The primary purpose of the attached document is to outline the options which psychologists have in responding to disclosures of non-recent sexual abuse, their responsibilities and accountability, and the various avenues of support available for both psychologists and their clients.
A major part of this involves laying out the potential issues, and potential responses, which may be involved when an allegation of non-recent abuse is made, including (but not limited to):
The document also delves into the wider role of psychologists in situations involving historic abuse, including ways in which they can help raise awareness, improve supervision, and work more effectively with the police and the judiciary.
From the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board Website (link)
- Remember that the Data Protection Act is not a barrier to sharing information but provides a framework to ensure that personal information about living persons is shared appropriately;
- Be open and honest with the person (and/or their family where appropriate) from the outset about why, what, how and with whom information will, or could be shared, and seek their agreement, unless it is unsafe or inappropriate to do so;
- Seek advice if you are in any doubt, without disclosing the identity of the person where possible;
- Share with consent where appropriate and, where possible, respect the wishes of those who do not consent to share confidential information. You may still share information without consent if, in your judgement, that lack of consent can be overridden in the public interest. You will need to base your judgement on the facts of the case noting the practice of involving the Caldicott Guardian and applying Caldicott principles in dealing with disclosure without consent;
- Consider safety and well-being: Base your information sharing decisions on considerations of the safety and well-being of the person and others who may be affected by their actions;
- Necessary, proportionate, relevant, accurate, timely and secure: Ensure that the information you share is necessary for the purpose for which you are sharing it, is shared only with those people who need to have it, is accurate and up-to-date, is shared in a timely fashion, and is shared securely;
- Keep a record of your decision and the reasons for it – whether it is to share information or not. If you decide to share, then record what you have shared, with whom and for what purpose
- NAPAC – National Association of People Abused in Childhood
P O BOX 63632
NAPAC will provide support for clients and this charitable organisation’s national freephone Support Line may be contacted on: 0800 085 3330.
This organisation has online information booklets and videos which client’s may find useful available at: www.napac.org.uk. This organisation takes the approach that grading of abuse is inappropriate and that any abuse is wrong. For those advised that the CPS do not consider a case can be pursued, it is clearly relevant that support organisations will affirm that this does not belittle the experience of harm or make the abuse acceptable.
- The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC)
42 Curtain Road,
London EC2A 3NH.
Gives free access to practical, evidence-based guidance on vulnerable witnesses and defendants.
Please note: The Advocates Gateway Toolkit 10, ‘Identifying Vulnerability in Witnesses and Defendants’ dated 10 July 2014.