15.5 Non Recent Abuse Allegations

Show amendments

Last reviewed July 2022

Date of next review July 2025




Organisational responses to allegations by an adult of abuse experienced as a child must be of as high a standard as a response to current abuse because:

  • There is a significant likelihood that a person who abused a child(ren) in the past will have continued and may still be doing so;
  • Criminal prosecution remains a possibility if sufficient evidence can be carefully collated.



As soon as it is apparent that an adult is revealing childhood abuse, the member of staff must record what is said by the service user and the responses given by the staff member. A chronology should be undertaken and all records must be dated and the authorship made clear by a legible signature or name.


The person disclosing the non recent abuse should be asked whether they want a police investigation and must be reassured that the Safeguarding Investigations Unit is able and willing to undertake such work, especially for those adults who are vulnerable as a result of mental health or learning difficulties. Even if the person dislosing the abuse does not want an investigation the Police may still investigate in the interests of public safety. 

The adult should be informed that when it is believed that an alleged abuser has contact with a child or poses a risk to children a referral will be made to children’s social care so that information can be gathered and a decision can be made whether to apply child protection procedures in respect of the child(ren) with whom the alleged abuser has contact or who may be at risk of harm


If possible, staff should establish if the adult is aware of the alleged perpetrator's recent or current whereabouts and contact with children. 

Professionals responding to an allegation of historical (non recent) abuse should try and establish the following:

  • Name of the alleged abuser, date of birth or approximate current age and current address/whereabouts and occupation
  • Location/address where the abuse occurred
  • The year the abuse occurred and duration of the period over which the abuse occurred
  • Whether it is known if there are any child(ren) that may currently be at risk from the alleged abuser or any contact the alleged abuser has with children

The professional should be aware and sensitive to the fact that the adult disclosing may not wish to give any of the above details, including the alleged abusers' name, possibly in fear for their own safety.

Direct questioning concerning the detail of the abuse should be avoided, but an adult disclosing abuse should not be prevented from freely recalling events.

If a child under 18 makes a disclosure to a professional about non recent abuse this should be responded to like any other disclosure of abuse (ie. contact either East Sussex SPOA, Brighton and Hove Front Door for Families, West Sussex Integrated Front Door). 


Consideration must be given to the therapeutic needs of the adult and reassurance given that, even without their direct involvement, all reasonable efforts will be made to look into what they have reported.


Sussex Police Control Room must be informed about allegations of crime at the earliest opportunity. This can be done by phoning 101 or by going to Report a crime | Sussex Police Whether the Police become involved in an investigation will depend on several factors including the victims' wishes, safeguarding of others, and the public interest. If the location of the crime is not in Sussex, then Sussex Police will inform the local force area. The victim will be told who will continue with the investigation. 


If a child under 18 is making a non recent allegation of abuse  Children's Social Care should initiate a 4.6 Strategy Discussions if the alleged perpetrator is known currently to be caring for, or has access to children (including making the necessary referral to the area where the alleged perpetrator is now known to live).

See also, CSA Pathway


If the alleged perpetrator  has their own children, or there are children in the household, consideration to be given to appropriate safeguarding of those children.


Where the alleged perpetrator has contact with children as part of their employment or any voluntary role (whether current or historical), the Allegations Against People who Work with, Care for or Volunteer with Children Procedure should be followed.

National support services

  • Help for Adult Victims of Child Abuse (HAVOCA)
  • havoca.org - Information and support for adults who have experienced any type of childhood abuse, run by survivor

Local support services


Brighton & Hove

Survivors’ Network

Survivors’ Network provides specialist support services to people affected by sexual violence and abuse.  Our range of services are safe, confidential and non-judgmental. We work to empower survivors to make choices and achieve the life they want. We work with all self-identified women aged 14+ who have experienced any form of sexual abuse, sexual violence, sexual harassment or violation. We also have specific targeted services for women aged 14-25. Our ISVA service works with survivors of all genders and ages. We provide support for families, partners and friends.

 Address: 6a Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE 

Office: 01273 203380
Helpline: 01273 720110 (opening times Wednesday 7pm-9pm)

Email: info@survivorsnetwork.org.uk
Website: www.survivorsnetwork.org.uk


Sussex-based support for men who have been affected by unwanted sexual experiences

Postal address: 1 Brunswick Road, Brighton & Hove, BN3 1DG

Telephone: 01273 911 680

Email: admin@mkcharity.org

Website: https://mkcharity.org/

Area covered: Hove, South East England

 Services offered: Counselling, Support, Information, Email support.

Services for: Male survivors of rape and sexual abuse 18+ (inclusive of trans and non-binary people)

Partners of male survivors of rape or sexual abuse, Parents of male survivors of rape or sexual abuse, Mental health/care workers supporting survivors of rape or sexual abuse


East Sussex 


West Sussex 

Lifecentre - Your story. Our journey. 

Lifecentre is a charity offering support to people of all ages, genders and backgrounds who have had an unwanted sexual experience.

This page is correct as printed on Tuesday 16th of July 2024 06:12:03 AM please refer back to this website (http://sussexchildprotection.procedures.org.uk) for updates.