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Historical sexual abuse, rape and reporting

If the incident/s occurred some time ago and/ or if you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse:


Reporting the incident/s:


You may want to report the incident/s to the police and the following points may help when thinking about what to do:

  • It is entirely your decision if you want to report what happened to you, the police are there to listen to you and act on what you tell them
  • There may be an opportunity to report what happened to you anonymously
  • The police investigate what you tell them and then it is the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) that decides whether to take the case any further. Even if there is little evidence it may be taken to court if there is a concern for public safety
  • Your story could be a missing piece in a much larger picture that helps catch the perpetrator, even if you do not know who they were
  • Sometimes when one person comes forward about an incident it encourages more people to come forward and say that the same thing happened to them. This is often the case when a person has been abused as a child and was not aware that their siblings were also abused by the same person until it is revealed in later life
  • Some people find it helps their healing process
  • The Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) can support you all the way through the criminal justice system (see services)
  • There are special measures in place to help victims of sexual violence in the criminal justice system feel as safe and comfortable as possible

If you decide that reporting the incident is not an option for you, or if you have already been through that process, or the perpetrator has died you may want to access counselling. You can contact us to get more information and advice on any of the issues talked about in this section.


Some useful contacts:


National Association for People Abused in Childhood (helpline weekdays and evenings) 0800 085 3330


Victim Support (help and advice if you have been a victim of a crime. They can also help you apply for compensation) 0845 30 30 900

“My life has changed so much in the last few months for the better. I would not have recovered if I had not attended this service. I already work but am more confident in work.


This service has changed my life, I was just living with not much meaning. The work I have done with [my counsellor] has helped me to move forward in my life and make good changes. [My counsellor] is a great counsellor. I wouldn’t have got this far without her.


I just hope this work can carry on. There are plenty more people needing help – like I did.”


Survivor of childhood emotional, physical and sexual abuse (by her father and others) aged 40

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