David Lean is a proud ambassador for Voicing CSA and works tirelessly to bring awareness on the subject of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Exploitation. As a victim himself, Voicing CSA (on twitter as @Voicing_csa ) helped David to find his own voice.
I got to know David through Twitter and his work spreading knowledge and trying to get the subjects of CSA and CSE trending in order to raise a more far reaching awareness of these often taboo subjects. He is a truly inspirational man.
Please help us spread the word and let's turn Twitter Purple on September 15th!
1 - What is #PurpleFriday?
#purplefriday is a very simple campaign I have created to raise huge awareness of both CSA & CSE by bringing everyone together on the same day. This is not about Charities or Survivor Groups. It is not even about Survivors, its about everyone young or old, men and women coming together and raising the unspoken subject in all walks of life for just one day. On Friday September 15th I want as many people as possible Worldwide to join us and wear purple items all day as they go about there life. As much or as little as they feel comfortable with. Hopefully this may get people in all walks of life asking about there purple items they are wearing and why! I would like everyone to post on all social media sites, photos of them wearing the purple items or just anything purple and turn social media purple for the day !!
Using #purplefriday we will also attempt to trend between 8pm-10pm that evening. Its free, easy to join in and will raise massive awareness if we all join in ! These issues are happening massively on a Worldwide scale !! With one voice we can raise awareness together !
2 - What are your thoughts as to current UK attitudes towards child abuse in the media?
The UK media has improved over the last year and shows much more attention to Both CSA (Childhood Sexual Abuse) and CSE (Childhood Sexual Exploitation) for which Survivors are grateful but it is still nowhere near enough ! Much more can be done and it needs to hit all markets not just the news! Programmes aimed at younger children also need to be looked at.
3 - Do you think that the "authorities" are doing enough to raise awareness?
Authorities are not doing enough. They are often much of the problem. Some appear to be doing a good job others are not ! Consistency in all areas when dealing with both CSA & CSE is so important. Best practice needs to be used across the Country. Once again we can always do much more and not close our eyes !
4 - With regards abuse in sports, do you think the various sports bodies are doing enough to expose and prevent abuse?
Abuse in Sport is being looked at by many National Governing Bodies at this time. We will see how things pan out in football which is leading on the inquest at the moment. Again while coaches in many sports operate without much if any supervision and without National guidance and Support in many cases Child Abuse will continue to go on in Sport as in all walks of life. It has shown its ugly head in so many different sports and is happening today so all NGBs need to look at how this can be improved. Mandatory reporting is being looked at by many at this time.
5 - Are social media "giants" like Twitter and Facebook doing enough to fight child abuse?
I believe Social media certain help and can allow us to raise awareness through our tweets/posts etc. We are allowed to put detail into our posts again this helps. Local and National support is also easy to access contact details etc through social media for Survivors and many strong friendships grow through social media.
6 - What have your experiences with social media been like? I understand you have been blocked from tweeting etc.
I am unsure of exact details on how twitter works but we strongly believe that on a couple of campaigns we have driven to trend #CSASurvivors on twitter that we have been stopped from trending ? I have also had my account stopped 3 times during these periods for over 90 minutes ? I only hope this is not being driven by someone at twitter ?
7 - Do you think that the media coverage of high profile chld abuse cases helps or hinders those who have suffered from familial abuse?
High profile cases and media coverage is so needed! I understand its a difficult watch for many and some Survivors find it difficult also but it has to be done! We must show cases on very occasion to drive this out of the dark ages and into the light ! CSA & CSE must become a subject that is spoken about and we must no longer hide this ! Children of the future will be ruined if this continues to happen! It has already been proven there is a huge percentage of people in prison who have suffered some sort of abuse as a child ! The links are there we need to open our eyes and stop this!
8 - What changes would you like to see in how child abuse victims are treated?
So many changes need to happen in the justice system ! Investigations need to be speeded up in all aspects of CSA & CSE ! Once you disclose to the police,cases can take years to actually get to court ! It can take 12 months just to get a Crown Court date! The best practise and consistency across the way Survivors are dealt with NEEDS to come in ASAP ! So many people have had bad experiences in the way they have been treated by both police and CPS and also within the Courts!
I have also heard stories of people who have been treated well, believed from day one and treated with respect and compassion this needs to be the case every time.
Sentencing laws need to change and be used. Its no good allowing Sentencing laws to be increased if judges don't use the maximums allowed to them ! The effects of CSA & CSE are massive and yet in many cases sentences such as 1 or 2 years are handed down!
In many cases No conviction is even handed down? We need to encourage ALL survivors forward and you already have to go through reliving the events ! Interview after interview , then await CPS decision then wait another year for Court dates if you even get as far as cour ! For in many cases No conviction or a very small sentence given for Abuse towards a child ! How can this be right?
We also need to stop allowing these monsters the right to change there verdict on the day for a reduced sentence!
9 - Do you feel there is enough professional, specialised help available for male survivors?
I was lucky and received counselling within a month of me disclosing to police through some funding available at that time. This area is a must for everyone who needs it after disclosure and must be compulsory all over the Country ! Not enough services or support are available at this time. Many Survivor groups offer support to the best of there ability but much more needs to be done as so many are not supported!
10 - Are male victims of sexual abuse under more pressure to remain silent than female victims?
I believe men find it much more difficult to disclose than women and yes I believe they are under more pressure to remain silent. It is a hugely difficult for everyone but I believe it is often around 20 years longer for men to disclose than women. Something that I and many other men are working hard to change.