D from the North West. "Safer Lives have been with me throughout this terrible ordeal of my own making. Without them it would have been horrendous, and I would be lucky if I were still alive such were my intentions to go no further. The compassion showed helped me understand that my life still had value, and since those first days I have looked forward to our sessions because I know I will leave every meeting a better person. Thank you too for supporting my wife when every other agency seemed determined to paint her with the same brush as me. We do believe our family is stronger and safer together, and we are determined to work to that outcome."
(Outcome – Suspended Sentence)
D from the South West. "I called Safer Lives on the advice of my solicitor. I was doubtful but hopeful. I already had my court date and I was going to plead guilty, but I was still struggling to explain to my wife and parents why I had downloaded images of children. How was I going to explain it to the probation officer who was going to write to the court? We did a telephone consultation and then travelled up to Leeds with my wife within two weeks. I left feeling 100% better and with a much better understanding of myself. I wasn’t told anything much, apart from what lay ahead of me, but my understanding was opened up to the things that have influenced my behaviour and why I took the choices I did. My wife spent an hour with Jenny talking through her own fears and worries about press reporting and us having children in the future. This was a tremendous support to her as she had felt alone until that point. I only wish we started this ten months ago."
(Outcome – Community Order)
D from West Yorkshire. "I walked home from the Police station not knowing what would face me. The Police Officer had pointed at the Safer Lives leaflet in the pack I was given – he looked me in the face and simply said “call these guys”. It was the best advice I have taken. I spoke to Jenny the same day, and within two days I was sat in front of her with a cup of tea in my hand. I was still scared, but in that room I felt safe. I learned that prison was only one option for me, and seemingly the least likely in my case and that I had some influence on that decision. It made all the difference. I have now completed the Programme, and am calling in for occasional further sessions to keep me sured-up through the rest of the investigation. The sessions have been life changing, and when It’s all done I will miss Jenny’s wisdom, reassurance and compassion. If I struggle with my future, I know who to call."
(Outcome – Community Order)
L from South Yorkshire. "I also just wanted to thank you very much for last year and the sessions, it was worth every penny and i would highly reccomend it to anyone, the biggest help was talking about my problems in the past that led to where my mind set had got too, that helped me a lot to get it out of my system and talk about it, i am in a good place in life now after Monday i can go forwards, now covid is sort of calming down so i can restart my life, i just wanted to thank you so much, i feel that carried a hell of a lot of weight when i mentioned i had gone to you off my own back, she said that was a big factor that i was not told to go there i just went, so your program does carry a LOT of weight with it. sorry to go on a lot but i am just so happy and relieved !"
(Outcome - Conditional Caution)
G from the South East. "Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and to listen. I found the sessions difficult but have gained more insight than I have from therapy so far, having spent a lot more on the latter."
(Outcome – pending)
G from West Yorkshire. "Before I met Safer Lives my suicide was unnegotiable."
(Outcome – Community Order)
R from South Yorkshire. It may seem like a strange thing to say given I now sit here with a criminal record, but actually I have a sense of optimism about the future that I haven’t had for a long, long time – and that includes long before my arrest. I’m a far better version of myself today than I was the first day I walked in an sat down with Jenny and Andy for our first session together.
(Outcome – Suspended Sentence)
N from West Yorkshire. "Safer Lives helped me from the start and I felt a bond to their compassion at the most difficult time in my young life. Andy prepared me for what it would be like in prison. He had worked on the wing I went on to, and I even met someone who remembered him with affection and spoke about his integrity. And that's the word I would use to describe Safer Lives. Andy wrote to me inside and when I came out I continued seeing them for a while because I was struggling with re-establishing myself and Probation were well meaning but ultimately unhelpful with the emotional side of things. I have a job again, and I continue working on being a better person."
(8 months imprisonment)
P from Greater Manchester. "I would also like to say thank you again for our sessions, they have given me a greater strength and resolve not to succumb to my addiction and I feel that I am on a much better path now than before I first sat down with you, you have been a great help in my recovery and It is so very much appreciated."
(Outcome - Community Order)
M from West Yorkshire. "When the forensic tests came back with a handful of images my (investigating) officer said a conditional caution was possible in my case. I think attending the (Safer Lives) appointments was crucial. My solicitor made a case that I'd engaged with rehabilitation while I'd been waiting on a decision, and their letter pointed to me being low risk of making this mistake again and that I'd changed important things that contributed to it."
(Outcome - Conditional Caution. The condition being three more sessions with Safer Lives)
C from Humberside. "I was made to feel at ease to talk, and with Andy’s skill to make me lead the discussion and it’s direction rather than tell me what to do I felt more in control. Any aspects of the future which may be difficult, challenging or unpleasant were handled with compassion, but with the understanding that the success would be in my hands.
Thanks for listening, encouraging, helping and guiding. I feel I am now a different person better placed to face the future with no regression to old behaviour. Understanding without judgement!"
(Outcome - pending)
Anonymous from Midlands. "For most of my adult life I have lived in fear of the day when I will be arrested. That fear is still there and is a hard thing to shift – the fear that my world will fall apart and I will have questions to answer. Working with Safer Lives has meant that I have stopped the behaviour and I feel a new confidence that it is behind me. I have been given pragmatic advice and a new understanding of why I was looking at child images. This will be a lifelong journey for me but I am so relieved to have found help, and that I took that step to send the first email. Just being able to talk about this burden in a safe place has been life-changing and I now feel safe in myself. I have stopped self-harming, and my levels of self-loathing are so diminished. My future now seems so different, and the fear of the police coming is slowly diminishing as the time between now and my last viewing of images grows. While I can think so rationally, I don’t feel there is a real chance that I will return to it, and I can resist any temptations.
I’d like to thanks Safer Lives for being there for me. I urge anyone battling their sexual thoughts and attractions to read the online newspaper article about Safer Lives. It gave me confidence to reach for their help."
(No police involvement - came to Safer Lives for prevention work)
James McAuley - Partner ABR solicitors.
Safer Lives have provided detailed and professional advice to our clients. They have shown remarkable empathy and understanding for those facing criminal prosecution. The work undertaken has proved crucial for those facing criminal charges/sentence. Jenny and Andy provide a comfortable and safe surrounding. In the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic, they have continued to support their clients. Their work really does make the difference.
The contact they maintain has reassured our clients and has equally helped them to reconcile the issues they face. It has provided them with an understanding of their behaviours and attitudes. The work undertaken results in a detailed report being prepared for consideration at court. The Magistrates and Judges welcome that report and take that into account when determining sentence.
Andrew Ford - Partner Holborn Adams I was lucky to discover the services of Safer Lives a couple of years ago. Since then, scores of my clients, and their families, have benefitted from the services they provide. They are professional, discreet and very easy to speak with in a time which is without doubt the most difficult time of the clients’ life.
Clients who complete the Safer Lives Programme with us remain clients until their court cases are concluded. We remain available for phone calls and emotional support until and beyond a Court or other outcome is achieved.