A charter for survivors

This charter was written by the Methodist Survivors Advisory Group and is an invitation to the Methodist church to listen, to repent, and to change.

We call on the Methodist Church:

  • To enable every survivor to know they matter
  • To convince every member or person in contact with the Methodist Church to know why the Survivors Agenda matters.
  • To see survivors of abuse as successful people, not only or always victims.
  • To work for the expression and celebration of the full humanity of survivors whose personhood and flourishing must be about more than just survival.
  • To practise and live out that the truth about abuse (establishing of facts) is a cause worth fighting for.
  • To enable every member to benefit from the principles underlying the work of the Methodist Survivors Advisory Group and learn from the group.
  • To encourage more listening, contemplation and self-reflection for all church people.
  • To support the supporters of survivors and stand alongside them.
  • To understand that it takes a community to support a survivor - it is a congregational responsibility.  There is a shared responsibility of being fully present to the abused.
  • To recognise the church is already fractured and wounded because survivors of abuse are part of the Church.
  • To change attitudes in relation to mental health.
  • To recognise that some survivors are unlikeable and some perpetrators are likeable and charming, and learn to avoid stereotypes.
  • To learn the difference between secrecy, privacy and confidentiality.
  • To understand that a survivor may not know what is meant by family, forgiveness, trust, foundation, safety, truth or confidentiality.
  • to be a resource for people supporting historical survivors.
  • To detoxify the disclosure of sexual abuse (over and above other disclosures).
  • To encourage a healthy theology of the Body and avoid spiritualising everything
  • To promote the declaration that the Methodist Church has a zero tolerance response to abuse.

(taken from pages 22-23 of the Reflect and Respond study guide)