Siobhan offers training for professionals who work with children, based on her lived experience of child sexual abuse. In particular, she focuses on:
– Her story of abuse at home, going through the court process, and how services might be improved from a survivor-led point of view
– The reasons why children don’t tell us if they’re being sexually abused (with references to personal experience)
– How to encourage children to tell us, despite the obstacles they face (including an ‘ideal conversation’ model you can have with children which avoids leading questions whilst addressing underlying themes of abuse to build trust and demonstrate understanding); and
– How to respond to disclosures effectively (what to say, what not to say with tons of examples)
Siobhan has worked with audiences of various sizes (15-200) and allows time for a Q&A session at the end, which usually turns into a constructive discussion! She offers the opportunity to understand child sexual abuse from the perspective of someone who has been there, and can therefore articulate the difficulties faced by children in that situation. The training has been developed by several survivors of abuse, and feedback from previous sessions is available on request.
‘I thought you were brilliant at the Fixers event. I hadn’t seen you speak publicly before and I found you full of confidence, warm and presenting clearly. It wasn’t an easy event to chair but I felt like we were in safe hands with you at the front.’ – Alana Avery, OnRoad Media
How do we know that the training is effective?
- We collect feedback after the sessions. Constant evaluation is embedded in Beam Project’s values. The only ‘negative’ so far has been ‘if only we could hear from more survivors!’
- Whenever evaluations are carried out by event organisers, Siobhan’s sessions have so far come out with the highest percentage of ‘excellent’ ratings every time, with words like ‘extremely powerful’ and ‘will take this on board in my safeguarding role’ being used often.
- We are always developing better ways to capture meaningful feedback, whether positive or negative. This may include survey monkeys in the weeks or months after the event, and statistical analysis of data received so far.
What is the best possible feedback we could receive? What’s the tangible outcome of our work?
- That, as a result of hearing Siobhan speak or coming to a Beam Project event, you have used the learning to intervene in a case where sexual abuse was happening. Now that child isn’t being abused anymore and can seek support, because of you, and because you heard us. We want to hear those stories.