It doesn’t matter how much time has passed, if you were the victim of historical child abuse it likely still has an impact on your life today. The effects of child abuse are far-reaching and can have an impact on both your physical and mental health. But you don’t have to live with it anymore. 

So, What is Historical Child Abuse? 

Historical child abuse is a term used to describe any form of abuse that occurred during childhood, whether it happened four months ago or three decades ago. Deciding to report your child abuse is a big step, and before you take that step, you should know what comes next. Thanks to the National Redress Scheme, which took effect in 2018, you have an outlet to pursue some justice against your abuser(s). 

There isn’t a simple definition to break down all of the different forms of child abuse. However, the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse did highlight what is classed as abuse under the NRS. Ultimately, when someone uses a position of authority to involve a minor child in any form of sexual exploitation or activity it is classed as child sex abuse. It can also involve physical abuse, manipulation, emotional abuse, threats, punishment, neglect, coercion, and physical force. 

What To Do if You Are A Victim of a Historical Child Abuse Situation? 

There is no timeframe to report a historical case of child abuse. It is more common than you may realise for victims of abuse to report their abuse many years later. There are many options available to you, including filing a police report. If you choose to do this, know that it can be an incredibly emotional process as you need to recount the experience in as much detail as you can recall. It can be triggering for many victims, and it is a time-consuming step. You can also use the Sexual Assault Report Option which is an online questionnaire that allows you to report your historical child abuse anonymously. If you choose to make your complaint formal at a later date, you still have the right to do so. 

If you are a victim of historical child abuse, you should reach out to an experienced lawyer. A specialist lawyer understands the ins and outs of the Royal Commission’s findings, and they can fight for your right to redress. While NRS payments are capped, damages claims are not. The Royal Commission’s findings triggered a wave of new laws surrounding child sexual abuse claims, which means you can seek costs of treatment, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering as well if you believe a damages claim is your best route. A lawyer can advise you on how best to proceed, and guide you through the application process to ensure you get the maximum amount possible.

Three Institutions You Can Turn To For Help

FullStop Australia

Full Stop can provide counselling for victims of child abuse, violence or trauma across New South Wales in beyond. They can provide support for people who have experienced it themselves or support for family members of victims. Their services include online and telephone support, referrals or information for other services, and professional counsellors specialising in trauma.


Survivors and Mates Social Network was founded by a group of male survivors in 2011. They were looking for a support network of other men trying to cope with the effects of child sexual abuse and started their own when they were unable to find it. It provides a support network for recovery, support, and change.

The National Redress Scheme

There is more to the NRS than National Redress Scheme payments. Not only can you pursue a payment, but you can also pursue compensation for the therapy you sought for childhood trauma in adults. Your compensation can address the costs you have already incurred, as well as factor in future costs of therapy. By pursuing an NRS claim, you will also receive a director apology from the institution at fault if they have signed up for the scheme. The majority of those named by the Royal Commission Sexual Abuse have signed up. An apology won’t erase your trauma, and it won’t change anything that happened to you, but it will provide you with a place to start your healing journey.

How AJB Stevens Can Help 

A lawyer will provide you with expert legal advice, but they can also help you claim the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. You have been through unspeakable trauma, and as you navigate the system to pursue sexual abuse claims through the National Redress Scheme, you deserve someone fighting for you. 

At AJB Stevens, we specialise in child abuse laws in Australia. And we can help you put your claim together to ensure you receive a fair settlement. We can also advise you as to whether pursuing a claim under the NRS is the right move for you or whether pursuing a civil case through the court system would be more appropriate. We have your best interests at heart, and we’re ready to help you get some of the justice you deserve. If you need a lawyer for child abuse case, reach out today for a consultation.