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Our history

Survivors’ Network was founded in 1990 and has grown considerably, while staying true to our activist roots.

Survivors’ Network was established in 1990 by a group of female survivors of childhood sexual abuse to provide services that would support other female survivors. We were the first organisation in Brighton and Hove specifically focused on sexual abuse in childhood.

The mission for the women who started the network was:

‘To provide relevant and accessible services to women who were sexually abused in childhood. And to contribute to the prevention of the current and future sexual abuse of children.’

Right from the beginning, we had a helpline and a drop-in, and for many years we also ran a magazine called Speak Out.

The mission from the start was to provide relevant and accessible services to women who were sexually abused in childhood and to prevent it happening in the future.

One of the projects created in the early days of Survivors’ Network, when we were specifically supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse, was a beautiful banner. While some of the words may have faded, the central message remains clear: you are believed, you do not have to be ashamed of what someone else did to you, it does not have to be a painful secret anymore.

We hope that the work we do today honours those messages, and the hard work of the women who laid the foundations of our vital service. We have grown into an organisation that offers a range of professional relevant services to survivors of any gender and all ages who have experienced any form of sexual violence, recent and non-recent, all while staying rooted in the core values that have driven us from day one, all the way back in 1990.

Find out more in an interview with one of our Founders