Non-Recent Abuse

What is non-recent abuse?

Non-recent child abuse, sometimes called historical abuse, is when an adult was abused as a child or young person under the age of 18. Sometimes adults who were abused in childhood blame themselves or are made to feel it’s their fault. But this is never the case: there’s no excuse for abuse.

You might have known you were abused for a very long or only recently learnt or understood what happened to you. Whether the abuse happened once or hundreds of times, a year or 70 years ago, whatever the circumstances, there’s support to help you. It’s never too late.

Effects of non-recent abuse

The impact of child abuse can last a lifetime. Abuse can have a huge effect on your health, relationships, and education and can stop you from having the childhood and life you deserve. You might find it harder to cope with life’s stresses, getting a job or being the type of parent you want to be. You may also develop mental health problems and drug or alcohol issues.

The effects can be short term but sometimes they last into adulthood. If someone has been abused as a child, it’s more likely that they’ll suffer abuse again. This is known as revictimisation.

The long term effects of abuse and neglect can include:


emotional difficulties like anger, anxiety, sadness or low self-esteem


mental health problems like depression, eating disorders, self harm or suicidal thoughts


problems with drugs or alcohol


disturbing thoughts, emotions and memories 


poor physical health


struggling with parenting or relationships