Podcast summary

Episode 11 Neil Henderson talks about Safeline

Neil talks warmly, passionately and compassionately about his involvement with the charity Safeline, its volunteers and staff and the support it offers to people who have experienced sexual abuse.

After joining Safeline as a Trustee, Neil began to be aware of the huge numbers of people affected by abuse and the scale of the help that was needed. As a part of his work, particularly as CEO, he has looked to break down taboos around abuse and make it more acceptable to talk about and also to support specialist charities, especially financially.

Neil talks about the different services that Safeline offers, some of which I have discussed in podcasts, Getting help and The role of an ISVA.

He gives the statistics that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual abuse. That’s 8 million women and 5 million men in the UK.

Safeline has supported around 15 000 people this year. 80% of those have been supported by telephone and online across England and Wales.

In 2014, Safeline began providing the only national helpline for male survivors of sexual abuse and rape.

Safeline also run the only national telephone and online support lines. Neil talks about the advantages that some people find in using these sort of services, including finding it easier to communicate without being face-face and it also overcomes various access issues. These services have remained open throughout the pandemic.

In one year, there were 29 000 contacts to the helpline.

The charity does lots of fundraising to provide the free and non time-limited services.

Covid has exacerbated the amount of stress and trauma that a lot of people who have experienced abuse have had. This has led to an increased demand for support. This includes a massive increase in referrals for children who have been abused, often by the carers they are in lockdown with. During two weeks in November, they had 20 children under the age of 12 referred.

Safeline also provide services for prevention and intervention, which you can hear about in the podcast, Keeping children safe

Contact numbers for Safeline can be found here Safeline Contact us

You can find information about other support on the Resources pages.

The journey to recovery from child sexual abuse or any other form of abuse or trauma, is long and painful. However you choose to find support and help on that journey, it is worth it. There is hope for recovery.

Thank you for listening.

About The Author


Janet lives in Warwickshire, in the UK. She has put this website together to share her experiences of being sexually abused as a child, the effects of that abuse, and her journey to recovery.