Association To Offer Training To Dentists and Others To Help Abuse Victims

The U.K.-based National Association for People Abused in Childhood is offering training to professionals who are in positions to help survivors of childhood abuse.

An association dedicated to assisting victims of child abuse will offer courses to dentists and housing professionals so they can better assist clients with histories of abuse.

The U.K.-based National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC) will begin by offering a one-day training this month to those who work with homeless people to find housing, followed by a similar training for dentists, and if those prove successful, later training for a broader reach of social care workers, The Guardian reported.

“Many survivors find it very difficult to raise or discuss their own history of abuse,” Sarah Parnell, NAPAC training manager, told the news outlet. “This does not mean that survivors do not want to be asked, or to be offered an encouraging atmosphere for disclosure.”

Dentists, for example, can play a key role in helping to identify and report signs of abuse, according to the Massachusetts Dental Society. A visit to the dentist can also be traumatizing for past victims of abuse.

NAPAC’s training will focus on teaching professionals how to bring up the topic of childhood abuse as well as how to cope with listening to survivors tell their stories. A U.K. survey of child abuse survivors published last year found that fewer than half of survivors feel heard, believed, or respected, and that reluctance among professionals to broach the topic was hindering recovery for those affected by abuse.

NAPAC hopes that through training, professionals will be more likely to take the initiative in asking about abuse, and victims will feel less shame in opening up and seeking help.

“If professionals keep waiting for clients to be ready, they may wait forever,” Parnell said. “One of the things we ought to be thinking about is making survivors’ issues everybody’s business, so people can receive the help they really need.”


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!