The Truth Project

What is the Truth Project?

The Truth Project was set up for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experiences in a supportive and confidential setting.

The Truth Project is part of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) which was set up in 2015 to investigate organisations and institutions that have failed to protect children from sexual abuse. It aims to understand the past to help protect children now and in the future. Victims and survivors make an important contribution to the work of the Inquiry by sharing their experiences and these will feed into and influence the findings and recommendations from the Project.

Truth Project Pilot

The University of Exeter is among 7 universities that agreed to take part in a 6 month pilot to help raise awareness of the Truth Project to students. The University was not involved in the work undertaken by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse or the Truth Project. However, it recognises the importance of giving survivors the opportunity to share their experiences and welcomed the chance to support the Project by raising awareness to staff and students.

The pilot aimed to raise awareness and inform students who have been affected by childhood sexual abuse about the opportunity to participate in the Project. The Truth Project has already had over 1000 participants. Although the pilot itself was focused on raising awareness to students, staff were equally welcome to participate in the Truth Project.

The pilot took place from October 2018-March 2019, after which the University fed back to the sector learning from the pilot and key factors to consider for other Universities wishing to raise awareness of the Truth Project to its members in the future.

How do I take part?

Although the pilot has ended, the Truth Project is still available for anyone who has experienced childhood sexual abuse to access. The Truth Project is an opportunity for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to share their stories in a non-judgemental, confidential setting. Please note it is not:

  • A counselling or support service
  • A form of ongoing support
  • A way of reporting a crime to the police
  • A way to tell the University about an incident that has happened to you.

Anybody of any age is able to access the Truth Project. If you are not sure if participating is right for you, take a look at their website which has a tool to help you decide

If you think you would be interested in participating in the Truth Project, or you would like to find out more, please visit their website for more information

Taking part in the Truth Project is completely confidential. The Truth Project will not inform the University if any of its staff members or students access the Project. You do not have to tell the Truth Project that you are a staff member or student at the University. However, if you do mention that you are a student, the Truth Project Support Workers may give you some specific information about accessing support from the University’s Wellbeing and Welfare Services.

The University does not need you to inform them if you wish to take part in the Project. However, if you feel you need support, or the campaign is causing you to have difficulties with your work or studies, then please do seek support from the services listed below.


The University is aware that raising awareness of this topic may be difficult for some, and has taken steps to ensure that any staff or students affected know where to get support and are prepared for any issues arising:

The Truth Project is available to all staff and students, but for those who are affected by this issue and do not wish to access the Truth Project at this time, or if you would like further support regarding your experiences, then please see the links below for further help and advice.


There are various services within the University and externally where you can get support if you do not wish to access the Truth Project.

For more information about sexual abuse/harassment/assault, or for support around these issues specifically, please see the Wellbeing Services website.

If you are wanting to get advice for a friend who has been affected by these issues, please contact Wellbeing Services in Exeter on 01392 724381, or FXU in Cornwall: 01326 255341,


For more information about the support available from the University, please see the Exeter Speaks Out ‘Help and Advice’ pages 

If you are contacted by a student wishing to discuss an incident of childhood sexual abuse, please direct the student to the Wellbeing Services or the Exeter Speaks Out pages for other services. If you have any concerns of risk about the student, please contact Wellbeing Services directly. Please see the Disclosure Training below for more advice about responding to a disclosure of sexual abuse.

If you are wanting to get advice for a friend, colleague or team member who has been affected by these issues please speak to Occupational Health ( for advice or the University's Employee Assistance Programme - Care First - for support.

External Services

There are various services available externally who specialise in support for survivors and victims of sexual abuse, assault, harassment. Please see the Help and Advice pages  for more information.

A 2 hour disclosure training session run by IICSA is available online for all staff who feel this would be useful.

To access the disclosure training please use the link below, and log in using your University username and password.

Disclosure training »

Students who choose to participate in the Truth Project may find that it affects their studies. If you wish to seek evidence for mitigation purposes after accessing the Truth Project, we advise you to contact Wellbeing Services for more information:

Exeter: 01392 724381,

Cornwall: Alex Lewis – 01326 371875,

Reporting an Incident of Sexual Abuse

The Truth Project is not a means of reporting an incident of sexual abuse to the authorities. If you would like to report an incident to the authorities please contact the police on:

999 – for emergencies, if you are in immediate danger
101 – for non-emergencies

If you would like to report an incident to the University please see our pages on confidential reporting. Please note this is for events that have taken place on campus or where you wish the University to take action.