In this episode we speak with Rachel W – an abuse survivor who disclosed to staff at school when aged 14 after suffering years of abuse. Rachel talks powerfully about her story and the lessons schools and school staff can learn from her experience of disclosure in order to improve safeguarding practice.

Interviewed by pastoral specialist and teacher Adele Bates, Rachel discusses the impact of the abuse, including on her education and behaviour in school. She talks about her attempts to disclose and how she was finally rescued from her abuser.

She discusses spotting the signs of abuse, the barriers to disclosure, how staff should handle disclosures – how we must respond – and what to do if you suspect a child is being abused or is at risk of harm.

We also talk about the behaviour of children who are living with trauma and what staff should be aware of.

Rachel has been writing about these themes in SecEd ( and wanted to take part in this episode to help support school staff to know what to do in safeguarding situations.

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