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The Truth Project - Learning the Lessons for Practice from Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse

Rescheduled date: Wednesday, 8th November 2023

Time: 10am-12pm (London, UK) with a ten-minute break

Price: Free

Speakers: Dr Danny Taggart, Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Lead and Principal Psychologist for the Truth Projectand Michael MayEngagement and Communications Consultant, and Lived Experience Advisor


Every decade there are public investigations and inquiries that go on to shape society in immeasurable ways. On the 22nd of October and after eight years in the making, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) published its final report. The Truth Project, which launched in Liverpool in 2016, was a listening exercise that gave more than 6,000 victims and survivors the opportunity to share their experiences with the Inquiry and to make recommendations for change.

The Truth Project went on to be a pivotal part of the IICSA. Alongside the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel (VSCP), many of whom, worked on the Truth Project, survivors became an instrumental part of project design and delivery.

The lessons from the Truth Project are essential to how we might work together to protect those who have experienced it. This webinar is for all professionals who might encounter a person who is a victim or survivor of child sexual abuse.

In this webinar you will learn the story of the Truth Project and how it became a “radical step” in understanding survivors of child sexual abuse. Hearing from Dr Danny Taggart, the Clinical Lead and Principal Psychologist for the Truth Project, and Michael May, a VSCP member who led the project in establishing a ‘diverse communities’ workstream, you will gain an understanding of how building a service from the ground up with survivors, for survivors can yield incredible results.

The Truth Project serves as an invaluable framework for working with survivors and elements of its success can be applied to practice across social care, mental health and criminal justice. If you recognise the need for better ways of working with survivors and want to feel empowered in applying the lessons the Truth Project can offer in your practice, this webinar is for you.



Learning outcomes:

  • Gain an understanding of how the Truth Project informed the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) and how it was developed as a ‘radical step’ in understanding survivors
  • Critically reflect on assumptions that are made about disclosure
  • Deepen understanding of the positive impact on services when survivors contribute to service delivery and planning
  • Gain an understanding of how the lessons learnt from the Truth Project might be used as a framework for working with survivors
  • Deepen understanding of some of the difficulties that may arise when working with marginalised communities of survivors, and develop positive responses
  • Develop confidence in your work and practice with survivors, understanding the impact you can have through nurturing positive working relationships



Who should attend?

  • Adult social workers and social workers working with young adults (newly qualified to very experienced)
  • Principal social workers
  • Mental health social workers
  • Mental health professionals across primary and secondary care
  • Healthcare professionals
  • Police officers
  • Probation officers
  • Prison staff: prison guards, support staff etc.
  • Professionals working in third sector and charitable organisations
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Youth offending team workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Teachers and others working in education
  • Foster carers

“There is no substitute for the authentic voice of victims. Anyone involved in child protection or with support to victims needs to know about the Public Inquiry Truth Project. There is so much to learn from how it was set up, how it was run and most of all, from what victims told us about their experiences of sexual abuse, and how it impacted on their lives. I am grateful to every one of the thousands of people who came forward to the Truth Project for their unique contribution to the Inquiry’s work.”

- Dame Alexis Jay, former Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse


Meet the speakers


Dr Danny Taggart

Dr Daniel Taggart is a senior lecturer in clinical psychology at the University of Essex, and a chartered psychologist. Danny worked at the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse from 2019-2022 where he was the principal psychologist and clinical lead for the Truth Project. Danny has worked as a clinical consultant and trainer for the Northern Irish Redress Board, the Scottish Redress Scheme, and the Jersey Care Inquiry Citizens Panel. His current research is focused on survivor participation in non-recent institutional abuse inquiries, the ways that childhood trauma impacts engagement with public services, and what value survivor testimony has in both facilitating recovery from trauma and creating change in institutional practices. Danny is a founder member of the 'Non recent child sexual abuse- Network for promoting change'; a group of survivors, clinicians, and academics who provide educational and training resources for practitioners, service leaders, and organisations.

Michael May

Michael May has worked in the sexual violence field for more than 15 years. He led SurvivorUK (the primary organisation supporting male victims) to national prominence and reach, successfully campaigning for inclusion of male victims on central and local government agendas. His campaigning efforts led to the first national and local funding specifically for male victims of sexual violence and their inclusion in national reporting.

He also guided the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse in its engagement with minority audiences across all projects. Specific attention to challenges in minority attendance in the IICSA Truth Project increased BAME participation from 2% – 12% and LGBTQ from 4% - 14%.

Michael is currently an engagement and communications consultant, working with corporate and voluntary entities to explore barriers to message penetration and take up of offers in minority communities, and to shape solutions. He capitalises on a background in the voluntary sector, a strong network in community spaces, and his own protected characteristics to enable open and forthright conversations with often resistant stakeholders. He uses skills gained as a lawyer, through psychological training and as a former public relations consultant to critically assess what’s being said and arrive at succinct, market focussed and evidence-based recommendations.