This article details an evaluation of PartnerSPEAK, an organization in Victoria, Australia, that supports the non-offending partners, family and friends of CSAM offenders. PartnerSPEAK is the only support service of its kind in Australia, and one of only a few internationally.
PartnerSPEAK utilizes a peer support model in which previous clients of PartnerSPEAK, who have lived experience of a loved one’s CSAM offending, provide support to others through the operation of a peerline phone service, webchat, as well as a moderated online forum.
The evaluation consisted of a survey of 53 PartnerSPEAK clients, interviews with seven clients, interviews with seven stakeholders and two interviews with peer support workers. This article will focus on the survey and interview findings with clients.
The findings of the evaluation provided details of the complex support needs of nonoffending partners of CSAM. The peer support model offered by PartnerSPEAK provided a non-stigmatizing space for non-offending partners where they found comfort and acceptance.
The paper concludes that peer support is an important intervention for the growing population of people impacted by the CSAM offending of partners and family members.