Justice and survivor work

From the initial research project conducted at the Portman Clinic in 1992, it became clear that it was important that politicians developed a better understanding of the Clinic’s patient population. Individuals seeking help with dissociative disorders, many making disclosures of more organised abuse by criminal networks, were causing significant secondary traumatisation to professionals working with them, as well as encountering significant levels of denial and/or discrediting.

Without the dissociative disorders, especially in their most extreme manifestation of Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) being part of the training of core mental health professions in this country and without organised abuse being adequately recognised in the UK, psychotherapy services were unrealistically being asked to deal with complex social, legal and criminal issues rather than being able to stay focused on treatment and clinical care.

The Clinic continues to highlight the importance of the following aims:

  • The importance of more training in the UK in recognising and treating dissociative disorders;
  • The importance of working alongside and training the police in understanding how to work with alleged victims who have dissociative disorders;
  • The importance of recognising the existence of organised abuse by criminal networks, including within various, apparent, belief systems;
  • Achieving some amnesty for involuntary victim-perpetrators within organised abuse groups and underlining the importance of distinguishing between voluntary and forced perpetration in terms of the law;
  • The need to ensure the availability ofpreliminary meetings for the alleged victim and the police that do not have to involve immediately making a statement;
  • Victims being allowed to go to the police out of the area of the alleged offence if they feel the local area is unsafe for any reason (e.g. reported local involvement in organised perpetrator groups).