Samaritans volunteers had sex with callers (Telegraph)
TheHandmadeTails · 02/08/2021 10:30
Samaritans volunteers abused their position of trust by having sex with vulnerable callers, The Telegraph understands, prompting the charity to 'listen in' to conversations for the first time.
The “shocking” incidents are believed to include volunteers meeting up with callers for inappropriate relationships.
It is understood that there was a “specific demographic” of some "middle-aged men” who were abusing female callers by meeting up and having sex with them.
In a memo to volunteers it said 44 “serious safeguarding incidents” had occurred since 2017, “many of which have only been brought to our attention via a third party”.
IheartJKR · 02/08/2021 11:46
I’m not surprised by this unfortunately. I volunteered as a Samaritan for a year and had many concerns. When they loaded and went into cohoots with a betting company I was off……
Lots and lots of bullying from some volunteers who were overwhelming with their level of pieties and self importance.
OvaHere · 02/08/2021 14:01
I don't think this is shocking at all. What is shocking is that it's clearly not something they anticipated and already safeguarded against.
Look at Oxfam and all the men who were exploiting poor girls in developing countries.
It's the same story over and over, if you're an organisation that employs men who have power and access over vulnerable people, in particular women and children then your safeguarding needs to be extremely robust. It needs to have considered these scenarios way before they have the opportunity to happen.
For those who like to NAMALT, no it isn't all men but enough men are like that and they will be drawn like moths to a flame wherever loopholes can be found.
thinkingaboutLangCleg · 02/08/2021 16:04
This is sickening, when you think how desperate people are feeling when they ring Samaritans.
Yet another example of why if you're an organisation that employs men who have power and access over vulnerable people, in particular women and children, then your safeguarding needs to be extremely robust.
Girl Guides, rape crisis centres, domestic violence shelters etc should all remember why girls and women need single-sex spaces. Predators will try harder than anyone to gain access to vulnerable women.
lannistunut · 02/08/2021 19:02
I find it surprising people are surprised tbh - 44 incidents since 2017 is really very few - how many Samaritans are there, how many callers?
There will always be some who take an opportunity, they put themselves into places where there may be an opportunity.
I do not think this should be allowed to taint the vast majority of Samaritans who will be doing nothing of the sort.
Thomasina79 · 02/08/2021 22:02
I was a Sam for ten years and am surprised that this happened. Robust procedures are in place to make sure volunteers are adhering to guidelines . I am surprised such volunteers first of all got through the training, the supervision plus the supervision when taking calls.
Of course predatory callers will find a way round the system, bit I feel that such situations are rare.
Please, please. do not let this put you off phoning Samaritans if you need them. Generally I found most of the Samaritans I came into contact with were the kindest, sympathetic and empathic people I have ever met and I feel privileged to have worked with them. They were there for me.
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