Please see this page for common queries
What counts as lived experience of child abuse?
Child abuse is when a child is intentionally harmed by an adult or another child – it can be over a period of time but can also be a one-off action. It can be physical, sexual or emotional and it can happen in person or online. It can also be a lack of love, care and attention – this is neglect.
Can I share my story if I haven’t told anyone else?
Absolutely, Yours In Scouting wants to give people this opportunity to share their experiences with us knowing they will be fully anonymous.
By sharing your story you help us create a fuller picture of the issues within uniformed youth organisations, which Yours In Scouting will publish on this website and try to pressure The Scout Association to do more to protect children and young people in the future. Yours In Scouting will use your input on what you would like them to do differently to inform our campaigning.
What will happen to my story?
Yours In Scouting will use the stories and suggestions shared to identify areas for improvement in the Scout’s safeguarding processes, and to identify any geographical hotspots where there is a high frequency of incidents.
When you share your experiences with us, Yours In Scouting will ask for your permission to share them on this website. Yours In Scouting will use the collective testimony published on this website in our campaigning work.
What support do you offer to those sharing their stories?
Yours In Scouting cannot take responsibility for the wellbeing and/or mental health of contributors. We don’t have any specific support resources available, however we have provided signposting to organisations that can offer support, please see the Get Support page.
Why don’t children always report abuse when it’s happening?
Abuse can be confusing for children and anyone who experiences it. Often the abuse occurs after a period of grooming and the child does not fully understand what is happening and that it’s not their fault. Many children also fear that they won’t be believed or that they will be blamed for the abuse they have experienced.
The Office for National Statistics found that:
“…around half of adults (46%) who experienced rape or assault by penetration, including attempts, before the age of 16 years only told someone about the abuse later in life. This was lower for other contact sexual abuse (37%) and non-contact sexual abuse (34%)”
It’s important to know that if someone abused you when you were a child it is not your fault, no matter how old you were.
What if I want to report my abuse to the police?
It’s never too late to report abuse you experienced. But you don’t have to report it to anyone if you don’t want to. And no one should pressure or force you to do anything you don’t want to.
Some people report abuse to stop the offender abusing other children. Some find that reporting gives them a sense of closure and helps them to start moving on.
If you do decide to, you can speak to the police about what happened to you. You can report abuse to the police no matter how long ago it happened. You can start by calling 101 and briefly explaining what you’re calling about. They’ll make sure you’re put through to the right team who can support you.
It’s normal to be anxious about reporting and worry about what might happen. If you don’t feel comfortable contacting the police or want to find out more about your options, you can contact the NSPCC. They will be there to support you, no matter your worry. Call them on 0808 800 5000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in their online form.
What if I want to report my abuse but need to remain anonymous?
If you want to report what has happened to you, but don’t want to speak to the police, you can ask someone to contact Crimestoppers on your behalf.
Crimestoppers allows people to report offences anonymously, but not if they were the victim of the crime they are reporting. Therefore it is best to ask a family member, friend or someone who supports you to contact them. Crimestoppers guarantee anonymity. The only way anybody will know you contacted Crimestoppers is if you tell them.
Around 10 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers. Since they were founded, they have received over 2.2 million actionable calls, and have been responsible for more than 151,000 people being arrested and charged with a crime
You can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their anonymous online form.
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