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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

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Reporting non-recent child abuse

We appreciate the bravery it takes to consider speaking out about your experience. If you were abused while you were under 18 and in Scouts, we want to know, and we want to offer support.

Any form of abuse is abhorrent and we are deeply sorry for anyone who has suffered because of the actions of abusers.

You might have known you were abused for a very long time. You might have only recently learnt or realised what happened to you.

Whether the abuse happened once or many times, a year or 70 years ago: there's no excuse for abuse.

Whatever the circumstances were, we want to offer support. And some survivors tell us that reporting gives them a sense of closure that helps them to start moving on. 

We work hard to make sure young people stay safe in Scouts today. Your testimony might help make a difference to us making sure we are doing all we can to prevent abuse.

It's never too late to report what you experienced.


Reporting non-recent abuse

To report non-recent abuse, you can speak to one of our Safeguarding Team on 0208 433 7164, email or you can fill out your details in this form and one of our team will contact you. 

You can also report anonymously using the Whistleblowing Policy with this online form or through the NSPCC Whistleblowing Advice Line.

Reporting can stop the offender abusing other young people, so our Safeguarding Team will report all allegations of non-recent abuse to the police and the local authority.

Common questions and worries

It's normal to be anxious about reporting and worry about what might happen. There’s some really useful information in this video by Police Scotland about what happens when non-recent abuse is reported to the police. This covers common questions and concerns people have when thinking about reporting abuse to the police.

Child abuse is a criminal offence and is any action by another person that causes harm to a child. Abuse can be sexual, physical, emotional, or neglect, and it can happen anywhere, in any setting.

Sexual abuse can involve physical contact and can also happen online. Physical abuse is causing physical harm to someone. Emotional abuse is when someone experiences emotional maltreatment or neglect. Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet someone’s basic needs.

Children may be abused in a family or institutional setting by someone who is known to them or is a stranger. Abusers can be any person of any gender and come from all walks of life.

Scouts treat all reports of child abuse seriously. We are committed to investigating child abuse no matter where or when it happened or who was involved.  

When you report abuse to Scouts your safety, welfare, and wellbeing are our first priority. We also want to identify the person who may pose a risk to children and protect you, and anyone else who may be at risk of harm. Your report may also help lead to your abuser being brought to justice.

Yes. Scouts will still investigate your report and there may still be things to learn to help protect others. It is important to understand that people who have passed away cannot be charged or form part of any criminal trial. Nonetheless we would do a proportionate investigation with safeguarding as a priority.

Your personal information such as your name, contact information and details of your report will be shared with statutory agencies. They will work in partnership with Scouts to safeguard children and support survivors of abuse who seek justice. 

A safeguarding officer will contact you. Your wellbeing is our priority and we will respond to you promptly and discuss with you what support and guidance is available.

Scouts has a duty to report abuse to the Police so we will discuss this process with you and the next steps.


Getting the support you need

If you were abused as a child, you deserve to be believed and get support if you want to.

Whether you’re speaking about the abuse for the first time or have had help in the past but need support again, there are people who can help.

If you don't feel comfortable contacting Scouts directly, or want to find out more about your options, there are lots of places where you can find support.

Talking to your GP might be helpful. They can refer you on to appropriate support, like counselling and let you know if the NHS has services for survivors in your local area. 

Finding the right counsellor for you can take time. If therapy hasn't helped you in the past, it might be better for you to try a different counsellor. Ask them whether they have experience of supporting adults who were abused in childhood.

Thinking about talking to someone close to you about the abuse can seem frightening. You might not know where to start or may be worried about their reaction. It's important to choose someone you feel you can trust to provide a listening ear.

You don't have to tell them everything. Even if you say very little, speaking to them might help to lighten the load and help you think about what you want to do next.

Contact the Police on 101 or online at the Police UK website.

NAPAC is the National Association for People Abused in Childhood. NAPAC's trained staff speak with survivors of any type of childhood abuse over the phone, exploring the options available to them such as support groups and counselling to help empower callers to move forward. Calls are confidential, free from UK landlines and mobiles and can be made anonymously. 

NAPAC also supports family members, friends and professionals who are helping someone who was abused, advising them on who else can help. 

The NAPAC website provides a wealth of information and advice, including a postcode searchable database which lists local trusted organisations who can offer free or low-cost ongoing support.

Contact NAPAC on 0808 801 0331 or email

The Survivors Trust is the largest umbrella agency for specialist rape and sexual abuse services in the UK. Their services work with victims and survivors of all ages, all genders, of all forms of sexual violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation, including support for partners and family members.

They aim to support and empower survivors of rape, sexual violence and childhood sexual abuse through:

  • Providing free and confidential support and information to survivors of all types of sexual violence.
  • Providing a collective voice and peer networking for specialist rape and sexual abuse support services.
  • Education about all forms of sexual violence and their effect on victims-survivors, their supporters and society at large.
  • Informing acknowledgement of, and effective responses to, sexual violence and sexual abuse on a local, regional and national level.

Contact The Survivors Trust on 09099 010818 or email

The Whistleblowing Advice Line offers free advice and support to professionals with concerns about how child protection issues are being handled in their own or another organisation.

Call 0800 028 0285 or email

Survivors UK provides a national online helpline, individual and group counselling for boys, men and non-binary people aged 13+ who have experienced sexual violence at any time in their lives. They also offer emotional support through the justice system, support for friends and families of survivors, and training for professionals and organisations.

Contact Survivors UK on 0203 5983898 or email

Rape Crisis provides specialist information and support to all those affected by rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and all other forms of sexual violence and abuse in England and Wales.

Samaritans provide round the clock confidential emotional support to people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair.

Contact Samaritans on 116 123 or email