Operation Hydrant provides survivor support via new video, demystifying the reporting process
Operation Hydrant, working with Police Scotland, have developed a short animated film aimed at providing supportive information to adult survivors of child abuse, who may be thinking of reporting their experiences to the police and are wondering what comes next.
Based upon two fictional characters, both of whom are survivors of child abuse, the film takes the viewer on an educational journey from understanding what child abuse is, to providing information on the reporting process, the criminal justice process and the support available.
The film is designed for adult survivors of childhood abuse and the information within it is relevant to all types of child abuse including neglect, physical and sexual abuse.
What does the video cover?
The aim of the animation is to raise awareness among adult victims and survivors of how to report childhood abuse to the police, what happens next including any subsequent criminal justice process and signpost to victim and survivor support services.
The following questions are answered in the film:
- What is child abuse?
- Why should I make a report to the police?
- How can I report my abuse to the police?
- What happens after I make a report to the police?
- Who decides if a case goes to court?
- What support is available?
Watch the video for yourself here:
The police’s approach to reporting
Reporting to the police that you have been a victim of child sexual abuse is a huge decision. Many adult survivors carry the secret of their abuse for years before deciding to speak out and some never do.
The police recognise that not every survivor of child abuse will feel ready, feel able, or even want to report their experience to the police. However, it is important that all survivors can make an informed decision and know that if they do choose to contact the police, they will be listened to, believed, taken seriously, and that their options and what happens next will be explained to them. This animation supports survivors of childhood abuse in making the right decision for them.
What is Operation Hydrant?
Operation Hydrant is a national policing operation established in 2015, which provides operational coordination across policing in respect of allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse within an institutional setting, or where the allegations are against a person of public prominence.
Operation Hydrant also acts as the interface between policing and the Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse.
In addition to this, Operation Hydrant engages with key victim and survivor advocates at all levels to ensure they are informed and updated on the policing approach to investigating allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse.
The Operation also acts as a hub of knowledge and expertise in the field of non-recent child sexual abuse investigations, providing informal advice to forces progressing these complex cases, as well as more formal peer review and peer support functions.
The video is easy to follow and is very informative. I hope that it goes a long way to demystifying the process of reporting to the police which can appear daunting at first. I hope that this simple video provides survivors with confidence and encourages more people to come forward to report their experiences.
If you require any support as a survivor of child abuse there are many charities that can help. Survivors UK, for example, is a national charity that supports male victims of abuse. Rape Crisis is also a national charity that provides support and advice to survivors of abuse.
Rebecca Sheriff is a partner in the Abuse team at Bolt Burdon Kemp. If you feel you may have a claim or are enquiring on behalf of a loved one, contact Rebecca free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4827 or at email@example.com. Alternatively, complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Abuse team will contact you. Find out more about the Abuse team.