Launch of the Survivor Experiences Service

The Survivor Experiences Service, a new service for people who experienced abuse in care, has officially launched on 12 March 2024.  


The Service is a supportive and confidential place for people who were abused in care (1950’s - today), and their whānau, to share their experiences. It started 3 July 2023 following a recommendation from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care.  


“The Survivor Experience Service is an incredibly important forum to help people who were abused understand their past, and to provide an opportunity to continue their healing journey. Survivors told the Royal Commission’s Inquiry into Abuse in Care that they wanted a way for their experiences to be validated and acknowledged,” says Karl McDiarmid, Executive Director of the Survivor Experiences Service.   


The Service is survivor-led and is guided by an independent board, including survivors of abuse in care from diverse backgrounds.   


The primary goal of the service is to make sure people feel comfortable sharing their stories and experiences.   


“We understand the courage it takes to share these experiences – we want to support people by removing barriers and creating a non-judgemental space. Our Māori, Pacific, Deaf and disabled, and LGBTQIA+, Takatapui, MVPFAFF+ survivors remain at the forefront of our minds and play a key role in the way we step through this process." 


“We provide fully accessible short-term support for people to help them share their experiences – before, during and after sessions – with referrals to other support services where needed.”   


The Service further encourages a deeper understanding of the nature and impacts of abuse in care for State agencies and the public.  


“We understand there are many motivations for people to share their experiences; for some, it may be to prevent harm happening again, or to help hold individuals and institutions to account. Some people who were abused in care cannot speak for themselves, so it’s equally as important for whānau to have this opportunity too. For many reasons, people consider this service to be a critical component of redress.”   


Survivors and whānau can call 0800 456 090, email or text 8328 to speak with a person from the Survivor Experiences Service. They will work with survivors to organise a time and place to share their experiences.