Peterborough woman’s project to support sex abuse survivors

A Peterborough woman has launched a new project to help survivors of sexual abuse - by telling the stories of victims.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:00 am

Feeling there was a lack of first person accounts of sexual violence online, journalist Lizzy Dening who is vice chair at Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group, decided to set up Survivor Stories.

Survivor Stories is a new series of interviews with survivors of sexual abuse, rape and assault.

The platform was set up as a direct response to what Lizzy saw as a lack of safe spaces for survivors to share their experiences and, crucially, draw hope and inspiration from the stories of other survivors.

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Lizzy Dening

Lizzy said: “Survivor Stories is designed to help survivors feel less alone. Telling their stories in their own words can be a cathartic and empowering act. It’s also a resource to help shut down victim blaming – even at this early stage, the survivors on the site have wildly different lives and experiences.

“My work with survivors at Peterborough Rape Crisis Care Group has taught me that many look online for similar stories, and if they don’t find anyone with the same background, or a particular trigger, they feel even more isolated. Survivor Stories will become an archive spanning all ages, races, genders and experiences – a shared community of strong people dealing with trauma in very different ways.”

The website was launched on Friday at an event held at art group Metal’s Peterborough headquarters.

Lizzy said: “It was great to celebrate the launch of the project on Friday, and I was delighted by the turnout and level of support I’ve received. Many thanks in particular to Metal for letting me host the event for free.”

To view the website and stories, visit Lizzy has also set up a Patreon account to support the work.