Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

Reporting Sexual Abuse after 23 years

(32 Posts)
KumquatMaye Fri 30-Oct-09 11:38:31

After suffering several years of sexual abuse as a child, I have just decided to take the matter to the police. Having made 'the call' I am now pretty terrified as to what the process will be, and worried that I can't remember ALL the details and stuff...does anyone have any experience of this that they would be willing to share? I know its hard but if someone out there has done similar I would be really glad to hear from you. Thanks

PoppyIsApain Fri 30-Oct-09 16:50:51

I was 16 years old when me and my sister went to the police.
The police came and took statements, they then send the statements off to CPS who then decide if they have enough evidence to make a case.
If they say yes you will be notified by the police officer assigned to your case.
You will recieve a letter with court details on, time, place etc. You should be offered to sit in a back room and we where able to use a back door so we didnt have to go through the main entrance.
When the court date comes take someone with you as you may be there a while, ours took 4 days, we had 2 court dates in the end due to the 1st one being not guilty verdict, the police officer said not guilty means not enough evidence, not a reflection on us, which helped, sadly he also got away with the 2nd case. It is hard when it is so long ago gaining evidence.
Iam sure you will remember the details you need and the police will look after you and give you time to remember.I hope it goes better for you than it did for us.
If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

KumquatMaye Fri 30-Oct-09 17:55:01

Thank you for replying to me Poppy, that is very kind of you and I am sorry that the result was not what you needed, especially after all you went through to secure a better one. I hope that life has continued OK for you.

I really appreciate your reply. The police are coming round on Monday to start the process so if anyone else has something to add please do! Thanks

NanaNina Fri 30-Oct-09 19:49:23

Kumquat - I don't have specific advice sorry but can I just say a hearty congratulations on making this momentous decision after so long. This is a very brave thing to do (sorry don't mean to sound patronising) and must have involved a great deal of soul searching.

I think (and hope) that the police are now better trained to deal with cases like yours and understand the extreme sensitivity of it all. I wouldn't worry about your precise memories as no one coul dbe expected to be able to recall everything after so long, though I am sure I am right in saying that some of the memories will be "burned into you" as if they were yesterday. Just be yourself and try to stay calm and focussed. Would it help to write some of it down (maybe in note form) of some kind which will help with the interview.

The main thing for the police to decide is whether there is sufficient evidence for the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to bring the matter before a court. One of the problems is of course is that it is one person's word against another and that is always difficult. I am sure many victims must feel horrendously cheated if the case does not come before the court and if it does, the perpetrator is not convicted. I am afriad that you will have to keep an open mind on both those issues.

I wonder if you have been able to have counselling to help you to process such emotional turmoil in your life. You will certainly need a great deal of emotional strength to get you through this but I am sure you know that you are doing the right thing. You may after all be protecting someone else by your courage.

Sending you very best wishes.

KumquatMaye Sat 31-Oct-09 18:23:06

Hi NN thanks for your message. Usually when I start a thread I keep watch on it a bit more but I have been finding it all very difficult and only dare to have a peep once a day. Your reply was very supportive, thank you.

Yes it was because I finally realised that I needed proper therapy to stop my life being defined by the pain that I ended up realising the only way to get any kind of a hold on the anger is to do the right thing, and channel that anger into getting some justice. Since starting this thread I have discovered a website called The Lantern Project. It's there to support survivors of abuse and there are lots of cases on there of people who have gone to the police 30 years later, one poor man did actually get his abuser sent down for 3 years which was a great result even if the sentence seems meagre for the devastation caused.

I think it will prove too late for me and my abuser, who was old at the time, will be dead by now, but at least I will get some closure. I need to know the information in order to heal and move on. I had always believed that my parents had gone to the police and been told there was no point making a complaint - three months ago I found out that they never went at all, 'to spare me the embarrassment' (or theirs...)so now I am doing it for myself and for anyone else it affects - I was not his only victim.

I am nervous about Monday but will see it through.

ChookKeeper Sat 31-Oct-09 18:48:49

KumquatMaye well done on taking control over this. I'm sorry that your parents didn't act earlier on your behalf sad

I reported the man who abused me 8 years ago. Like you it was 23 years after the abuse had taken place.

The police were fantastic in terms of the support they gave me and the understanding shown when I made my statement.

But the outcome for me was not brilliant so please prepare yourself that you may not get the justice you are seeking.

In my case he was arrested and interviewed by the police and he did admit what he had done. However, it was decided not to prosecute and he was given a caution and ordered to register as a sex offender for 3 years.

I have always felt that he 'got away with it' because unless he applies for a job requiring a CRB check no one will ever know about his 'punishment' other than people who are close to me and who now know what happened.

However, I have reconciled myself to the fact that I did everything I could and that I took control and stopped it being a secret hanging over me.

Good luck for Monday - I hope you gain some strength from taking back control.

Stay strong.

KumquatMaye Sat 31-Oct-09 19:02:43

Thank you Chook. I know it's difficult even anonymously to write about these things. I am sorry you didn't get a better result but still, he got the knock on the door, was 'outed', questioned...he knew you had the guts to drop him in it and weren't keeping his secrets any longer.And the Sex Offenders Register - that is a great result that at least went some way towards protecting others. I think you were very brave.

Thanks for replying.

Notamumyet87 Fri 06-Sep-13 13:49:23


I appreciate you posted this a few years back and hope you do not mind me bringing this up again for you, but I am in a similar situation, my abuse was never reported when I was a child and my abuser was a family member, since me and my mum no longer speak to any of our family as they decided to remain friendly with my abuser (uncle). A few incidents have occurred since, as we live close and regularly bump into them, the newest incident being that my family now deny thi abuse ever happened. My mum has informed the police as they also threatened to damage her property,now the police want to see me this evening to see if I would like to make a statement and report this abuse. I was wondering what your experience and outcome was? Any information will be a great help, as I am mostly concerned if it is worth going through and having it all dragged up and the possibility of my friends finding out and judging me.

Thank you

Magpie85 Sat 07-Mar-15 22:48:53

Hi I'm hoping people will help. I'm in the same situation. I was sexually abused by my step father for along time and finally admitted it at around 15. No one believed me and he denied it. I was told by my family that I had false memory syndrome and told to just forget it. And for my family I did just that. I struggled over the years and kept it to myself not even telling my partner of 6 years. It wasn't until the end of last year once my step dad had cheated on my mum for about the 5th time and left that a few months later I found the courage (mainly for my niece) to speak out to my mum again. I had always known that this had also happened to my sister and tried to protect as much as possible over the years and thought she was unaware but after I told my mum, my mum asked her and she admitted it too. After a few more months of feeling a lot of anger towards my mum in particular I decided to go to counselling and from this I have been able to tell my partner and a few members of my family but now feel the need to go to the police but am terrified. The fear of not being believed again and the fact it was so long ago as I'm now nearly 30. Just don't want to cause anyone anymore pain but need to make sure of the safety of any other children he may come in contact with. Just don't know where to turn with this as it's been a constant shadow over most my life.

sadwidow28 Wed 11-Mar-15 13:24:02

I see that nobody has responded to you Magpie. Perhaps because this is an old thread. You would have been better starting a new thread to gain greater attention.

Having said that, I believe that the police are much better equipped to deal with reports of historical abuse now and you WILL be believed. Phone 101 to make an appointment to make a statement (police will usually come to you) or call in at your local police station. If you think you might find it hard to say the words out loud initially, then write them down. The police will then investigate AND provide/put you in touch with support services.

You may need support and help before going to the police. I would suggest:

NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused in Childhood) who provide a helpline and support to people who experienced past abuse.

Support line: 0800 085 3330 (times vary on different days - see the website for details and for freephone numbers for different mobile phone networks)


Pocahontas241 Fri 09-Sep-16 14:34:02

Does anyone know what the procedure is for reporting a rape that happened to me 20 years ago? I was in a well known children's home in south London an was involved in a volatile relationship that started when I was 13-16 with a residential careworked/social worker an then went on to have a child for this man,, I suffered sexual abuse from two men within that facininity the whole time an have never formally pressed charges, i know there was meetings an he presented himself and was placed on a "list 99" but does anyone know what that means?

Ratbagcatbag Fri 09-Sep-16 14:38:57

In my case Pocahontas I rang the police on the none emergency number. I advised i wanted to report an historical abuse case, they took some details (my name and dob etc) and asked if they could send someone round and when was suitable. That evening a lovely police woman came around and I gave some details. It went back to the station and then CID got in touch and it went from there.
flowers that you are in this situation and maybe start your own thread if you need more support.

Pocahontas241 Sat 10-Sep-16 17:50:25

Thank you so much for that,, it's taken a while to be able to make inquires on what to do but come Monday morning il be doing that thank you Ratbagcatbag

FinallyReportedHim2 Sun 11-Sep-16 19:19:36

It will need to be reported to the police force where the offence too place. You may also be able to report it online as a first step (some police forces have this facility). I think most forces now have specialist sexual offences teams.

List 99 is for anyone convicted of sexual offences against children - it basically bans them from ever working with children again.

From my own experience I reported sexual abuse from over 30 years ago last year. The police have been brilliant, but be warned that everything takes an age. If they can find enough evidence they will prosecute. My case is going to court in a couple of months, some 18months after my reporting it.

Well done you for taking this step, I know it's not easy, but I hope it finally helps you find some form of closure. If you have any other questions I'll help if I can. smile

FinallyReportedHim2 Sun 11-Sep-16 19:22:30

more on list 99

Ljmac27 Fri 23-Dec-16 00:53:22

Hi, I am not sure how to go about this kind of thing. I just really want some advice on reporting years of past sexual, mental, phsyical abuse. I never considered reporting my abuser as I never wanted to cause hurt to anyone, especially his son who is also my brother. Over the years as I get older I struggle to see justice with him waltzing around thinking he got away with the way I was treated. I used to feel such sadness and fear now I just feel angry. He was a narrcasist probably phscopathic traits a bully and a coward. fueled by drugs & alcohol. He enjoy being feared an got a kick out of that. He thought of himself as a gangsta an had guns. Now he says he is sorry for his past he still manipulates my brother and my mum into feeling sorry for him threatening if he lost my mum and my brother he would commit suicide. The abuse I suffered went on from a young age. I was around 6 until I was 14. It can sometimes feel like a dream. Not only was it sexual but he bullied me put me down an messed with my head, hiding my things an then punishing me for losing what he has hidden. He made me drink his urine, He would throw my stuff away. Root through things an also trip me up in front of people, mostly his kids an younger brothers an sister. Hed make fun of me an hurt me. Punch me in my head an tell me I was pathetic and a wimp if I cryed when he hurt me. I never considered reporting it but I just feel now I am stronger an I have healed myself, seaked therapy an have an understanding on things. Also being diagnosed with CPTSD I now feel the only justice I want is to see him in prison but what if the police dont believe me? What if it is too much to go back into again? What if he dosnt get long an seaks revenge? What if my brother hates me? An what if they dont charge him? How would they find evidence when It was so long ago. I just have no idea how to go about it. I would like to hear others stories, directly to me. Even if its via email. Just to hear how others found strenghth an got through this. I have so many worries. But overall think its time I got justice. But not sure I could face him in court without being totally manipulated by him.

CondensedMilkSarnies Fri 23-Dec-16 00:58:58

We finally went to court in June and lost . Please make sure you are prepared for this outcome Op . It is extremely difficult with historical abuse cases to get a guilty verdict . Our judge declared an 'abuse of process' which meant that he thought the accused wouldn't have a fair trial as most of his witnesses/ alibis etc were not available to give evidence.

I'm devastated . He's guilty but got away with it .

FinallyReportedHim2 Fri 23-Dec-16 16:00:21

I was in court earlier this month and he was found guilty 30-odd years after the offending (being deliberately vague!) I was the only complainant.

Would I do it again? Probably, but it's a tough and long haul through the police/CPS/court process (I first reported in spring 2015) with no guarantee of a guilty at the end, even if it gets to court. Think long and hard about why you are doing it, what you want out of it, how you will cope if you don't achieve what you want, etc. Whatever you do, do it for the right reasons for you.

I must say I cannot fault the police team though, they believed me and supported me right from start to finish - at each step along the way they checked if I still wanted to continue and there was no pressure to do so. I think all forces have specialist sex offences teams now, they were very good and really got how hard it was to speak out.

From my point of view, initially I just wanted the crimes logged so that any children he comes into contact with might be protected and for him to squirm through a police interview - I honestly never expected him to be charged and prosecuted.

Sitting as I am now, with a guilty verdict, I'm glad I did it. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and I can finally move on. As Sarnies rightly says though, not everyone can achieve this.

As to facing him in court (if it gets that far) - you will almost certainly be granted special measures - I gave evidence from behind a screen. I couldn't see him at all (nor anyone in the public gallery) It did make it easier, although I could still sense he was in the room (if that makes sense?!) and the fear I had as a child returned, which took me a bit by surprise. I definitely couldn't have given evidence if I'd have had to face him in court.

Do PM if you have any specific questions.

FinallyReportedHim2 Fri 23-Dec-16 16:03:14


If you are the sort of person who likes to read up on stuff first, I found this really useful.

Beecholme54 Fri 26-May-17 19:39:16

Beecholme Survivors and Justices Group,

We are here to help all children placed by the London County Council and Wandsworth Council.Who may have suffered abuse

Surrey police,complex abuse unit are carrying out the investigation.

BILMustDie Fri 23-Jun-17 22:14:28

We have just found out my evil BiL sexually abused his DD/my DNiece for 8 years. He has just been charged with rape and pleaded guilty thank goodness. This is a link to the full thread. All advice and support appreciated, thank you very much.

Woo25 Fri 28-Jul-17 20:06:10

I am really suffering. I was abused by my father from 10 years old. The last time he touched me wad when I was 17 and that was when he raped me. My mum died not knowing 10 years ago and after that I was brave enough to ask him why and say sorry. He denied everything. I've not spoken to him since. Now I have told another family member and it's all coming back to me. Finding it hard to cope at the moment. I want to report him to the police but after so many years will I be believed. I need closure and for him to admit what he did to me.

Julies1805 Thu 31-Aug-17 18:41:40

Hi I'm new here just joined. Could I get some advise please?
I'm 46 yrs old I was sexually assaulted by a close family member when I was 12 years old, I have lived with this since until February this year when my ex took it upon himself to disclose what happened to me to my mother, since then my whole family have turned their back on me. I only have memories of the lead up too my ordeal, I have been talking with a specialist counsellor and after considerable amount of thinking time and feelings of pain, I have decided to report my crime to the police, my question is will it go far due to my lack of memory? I would be so grateful for help here. I can't go on living my life in this way I need closure. Thanks Julie

Eve5221 Mon 09-Oct-17 15:42:11

Julie, I have only just read your message but I hope you receive this and you find the peace you deserve. I recently chose to report abuse forty years after it occurred. I spent two years discussing with a counsellor before I chose to reported to the police. You could consider your motives and expectations before you report. Once you do it is tough to unwind. The police will definitely investigate and you need to consider the reaction of family and friends but only from the perspective of your own feelings not theirs. Having talked most scenarios through I made a report. All I can say is the specialise Police team were wonderful and incredibly supportive at every stage. I chose to make a video statement which was much easier. I was in a special suite with discreet cameras (you can book this in advance) and I even sat in an arm chair. If you are just telling the truth as you remember it (don’t embellish) it is a very natural experience. Yes there were tears but for me it was a massive relief. Frankly that is really your job done and then leave it up to the police. It is a long process and you will no doubt want your abuser in court the next week. That won’t happen any time soon and you need to leave the police to do what they do well. My abuser was arrested and extensively interviewed. He denied everything and accused me of being a “disgruntled, vindictive, fantasist” It hurt at the time (but what was he going to say?!) but fortunately my counselling had predicted that scenario so I coped OK. The police were brilliant and cross referenced a lot of his testimony. He got angry in places during interview so his evidence contradicted itself. The police were satisfied there was sufficient credible evidence to prosecute and the case is now with the CPS. So it is highly lightly I will need to testify in court. As nervous as I am I know I am telling the truth and he will have to duck and dive at every question so however bad it is for me it will be much worse for him. That brings me on to what outcome you expect. Reading these threads not everyone is found guilty so don’t use that as your only solace. At the end of the day you know what happened, your abuser knows was happened and God knows what happened. Don’t use the jury’s verdict or CPS as ‘the truth’ of whether it happened. It did and you like many abused including me are rightly reporting a crime. You are joining a long list of people that are now reporting historical abuse and hopefully making people with a desire to do this think twice about it. Historical abusers will not sleep well at night knowing they might be arrested at any moment. I hope you make the report and although it was a chapter in your life that can never change it is not the end of the story. May you find love and peace in your life. God Bless xxx

iamBushbaby20 Fri 13-Oct-17 06:10:27

My partner was abused in a children's home in Northumberland from 1976 to 1980. He was abused by several staff and the older children in the home. He remembers being fondled in bed and given oral sex. He also remembers being lined up and spanked with several people watching him. He knows he was given methodone. There are other things he was subjected to but he can't seem to put them together because they always gave him alchohol and drugs. The fact is he is 45 and has never addressed what happened to him however he can't hold down a job apart from being multi talented. He studied art and left his course. He is a talented builder painter and decorator as a trade but can't seem to concentrate enough to hold down a job so sometimes his jobs will last for 6 months. We get very little money and live on my teaching wage. He is also dependent on alchohol and that dependency is getting worse. He wants to get help as the flashbacks from his childhood keep coming back to him but he thinks no one will believe him as he can't piece things together. He does know his case worker at the time was heavily involved in his abuse. All of this has taken its toll on my health and I am beginning to get anxiety as well as other physical health problems! I would just really like him to talk to someone. He made an appointment for alchohol abuse the other day but cancelled it! I want for the remainder of his life to be happy but unless he addresses what happened to him I don't think he ever will be. Since a child he has also suffered from chronic depression! Has anyone else gone through this sort of thing! I just feel so out of my depth and love him so much!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: