Why 'historic' abuse? Experiences of children reporting abuse historically

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This article presents findings from a research study undertaken with twenty-one adult victims/survivors of historic abuse in care from Scotland. The research highlights how children experiencing abuse in the past faced significant barriers in relation to reporting their abuse to the adults they had access to in their lives. The key themes highlighted via the research answer two questions: why did children not disclose their abuse experiences historically? ; And how did adults respond to children’s disclosures of abuse historically? The findings demonstrate that for some victims/survivors of abuse, the issues related to the reporting of abuse have substantially contributed to the abuse becoming ‘historic’, rather than something which was addressed in the time, space and context within which it occurred.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalScottish Journal of Residential Child Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017


  • historic abuse
  • disclosure
  • reporting
  • child abuse
  • empirical research
  • children in care
  • residential care


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