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Reporting Abuse Guidance

Reporting Abuse Guidance

This reporting abuse guidance is important for anyone considering reporting historic abuse. It will help you understand the processes you will go through and the information you will need. Abuse is never a childs fault. A child cannot consent to abuse. Abuse is a crime and can be reported to the police, even if it happened many years ago.

The people you speak to will be sympathetic and understanding. They are trained to listen and provide advice.

What to report

Child abuse includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and neglect.

Reporting abuse guidance states that you don’t need to be sure that a child or young person has been abused – it’s OK to report a suspicion.

If you are ready to speak to someone about the abuse you suffered then you have already taken a very difficult and vital first step.

PoliceReporting Abuse Guidance

Reporting abuse guidance recommends contacting the police. What happened to you is a crime. The police may well be investigating the same abuser following someone elses report. Your evidence may also help prevent someone from being abused.

Try and have dates, names and places written down so that you can help the police piece together what happened.

Contact the local police on the UK wide non-emergency number 101 and briefly explain what you are calling about. They will put you through to a specifically trained officer such as a sexual offences liaison officer (SOLO) who will take an initial statement.

That officer will then arrange with you a time and place that you feel comfortable with, to take a more detailed statement. Do remember that your details will be treated sensitively and you do not have to face the alleged offender.

What happens next?

  • the role of the police is to investigate the crime and recover evidence
  • the role of the Crown Prosecution Service is to decide if there is enough evidence to prove the abuse occurred ‘ beyond reasonable doubt’
  • even if there is little evidence it might be taken to court if there is a concern for public safety.

The process will not be a short one, but the police will keep you updated.


If you do not feel comfortable contacting the police directly you can contact the NSPCC Helpline any time where an advisor will discuss with you your options for reporting. They will support you in whatever decision you make. You can speak with them multiple times before speaking to the police.

If you decide you wish to report your case to the police, they will take your name and details and the alleged offender before passing this information on to the police on your behalf.

The police will then contact you in order to discuss the disclosure further and arrange to take a formal statement as above.


Reporting abuse guidance recommends talking to your GP. Not only can they provide you with support and guidance but can refer you for appropriate support. Your GP can refer you to appropriate counselling or medical treatment. They can inform you if the NHS provides services for survivors in your local area.

You can also search for a private counsellor using the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website.

Find a counsellor that has experience of supporting adults who were abused in childhood. Not all counsellors have this experience.


Find a solicitor who is experienced in historic abuse work. We are understanding and sympathetic to those who make the brave first step towards reporting historic abuse. Only our solicitors deal with abuse enquiries so there is no need to have to discuss the details with secretaries or first response teams.

We will explain the legal avenues available to you if you wish to claim compensation. Our solicitors will explain how your case will be funded and how long it may take to resolve.

We are here to guide you through the process. All cases are dealt with on a no win no fee basis. All cases are insured. It can take a long time to resolve a historic abuse case. We will keep you updated if you wish, via email or phone calls or face to face meetings.

If you want any other reporting abuse guidance then get in touch with us on freephone 0800 470 2009 or email Dr Handley at

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