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Study for abuse survivors Part 1

Welcome to part one of the "Study for abuse survivors". 

I would like to invite adult survivors to take part in a study that seeks to better understand the emotional responses following difficult experiences of child sexual abuse. Please respond to all the questions if you have sustained any form of child sexual abuse or unwanted sexual experience prior to the age of 18. Your participation is voluntary and completely anonymous. 

This study is carried out in two parts. You will now be asked to complete some questions, for information and screening purposes, which will take no more than 5 minutes. After completion of these questionnaires, you will be emailed to discuss next steps. If you are eligible, you will be invited to fill out some questionnaires.

What does the participation involve?

If you decide to take part in this study, you will be invited to answer the screening questions. This study consists of different types of questions. Some of them will ask you about your responses and thoughts following your experience of child sexual abuse or unwanted sexual contact prior to the age of 18. Some of the questions will focus on your current mood and your personality. 

Do I need to take part?

The participation in the study is voluntary. The study aims to seek out survivors of child sexual abuse worldwide and the participation is voluntary.

Can I save and return later?

It is better to complete the survey at once, with no breaks. Part one only takes about 5 minutes to complete. If you need to save and return, click on 'Resume later' at the bottom of the screen at any point in the study. You will be directed to another screen where you will be asked to give yourself a name or pseudonym (it does not have to be your real name) and a password. You can enter your email address optionally too, then your name and password would be sent to you. When you want to continue you can click on 'Load unfinished survey' at the bottom of the screen and what you already completed won't be lost. 

What if I don’t want to carry on with the study?

All participants have the right to withdraw their data from the study at any point without having to give a reason.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

There are no direct benefits for you. The questionnaires you fill out will allow the researcher to answer some questions about the experiences of adult survivors on coping with their experiences of child sexual abuse. This could help us with refining and extending psychological therapies following child sexual abuse experiences. 

What are the disadvantages of taking part in this study?

The questionnaires might upset you temporarily as they might bring back the memories of your experiences or elicit some feelings in you. The online study will direct you to support groups in your area and provide useful contact numbers in case you decide to seek additional help. If you are concerned at any point it might be helpful to see your GP.

What will happen with the results of the research study?

The data will be stored securely on a server and only the author of this study will have access to the data. The data obtained from your study will be combined with that of other participants to be written up as part of the Doctorate of Clinical Psychology course fulfillment. The data will also be stored securely following the data collection. The study will be written up to appear in one of the scientific journals. This will be achieved in order to inform other clinicians and scientists who are working to support people affected by traumatic experiences and their families. Any write-up will not mention the participants personally, nor detail their name or any other personal detail. No other identifiable information about you will be published with the results. You can request that a copy of the findings is sent to you when it becomes available.

Who has reviewed the study?

The appropriate ethical committees within the University of Exeter, United Kingdom approved the research study to ensure the highest ethical standard.

What to do if there is a problem?

If you are experiencing any technical problems or have any questions or queries about the study, please email the researcher (the email address is provided below). 

Thank you for your time.

Agata Sawicka

Trainee Clinical Psychologist

University of Exeter



United Kingdom