SA Child Abuse Abroad - Victim and Abuser now live in Australia

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8 July 2014
My question for the forum concerns what is involved in reporting child abuse from more than 40 years ago, where the abuse actually occurred abroad - but both the victim and perp are now living in Australia. To try and cut a long story short : I grew up in Wales and at a young age suffered sexual abuse at the hands of an uncle. The abuse stopped in my early teens when I migrated to South Australia with family. Many other family members followed suit over the next few years and migrated to SA and other parts of the country. The uncle who abused me and his family also headed Down under and settled in WA a few years after we moved here.

My uncle is getting on in years and is elderly now. For some time, I have been going through the long and painful process of deciding whether to report what happened to me as a child. However, I am concerned that as the abuse occurred in another country, it will not be pursued by Australian authorities and that I should instead take this up back in Wales. Is anyone able to advise on how child protection and criminal matters are handled here when the crime happened in another country, but both the victim and abuser live in different states of Australia?

Much gratitude in advance for any advice you are able to pass on.

John R

Well-Known Member
14 April 2014
Hi graylight,
I'm no expert in this area but I assume the situation would be similar to the recent Rolf Harris matter where, to my understanding, complaints were initially made in Australia to state police, referred to the appropriate international police who then interviewed the complainant and reviewed the evidence before taking further action.

You may also consider contacting 1800 RESPECT, a national counselling hotline (telephone and online chat).

Hope this helps.

Tim W

LawConnect (LawTap) Verified
28 April 2014
I agree with @John R in that a call to 1800 RESPECT may be helpful.

It's hard to say much that is useful without a detailed knowledge of facts and circumstances.
I do think that you may have a harder time than those who survived Harris, Saville, etc al in the UK.
If only because in Harris, the offender was still within the jurisdiction where the offences took place,
even though the survivor was not.

I encourage you to think of yourself as a survivor of crime.
It took genuine courage to make your post. Draw strength from that.
I wish you further strength as you seek to ensure that,
even in his dotage, and even at a both geographic and temporal distance,
this man doesn't get to hide from his offences.

I suggest engaging a lawyer in WA to assist you.
You can certainly do this from SA.
You may find it helpful to get formal, reliable, case specific, advice
about the prospects of a successful prosecution.
Even if the technicalities of law do not turn out in your favour,
you will know in yourself that you did everything you could possibly do,
and he will know, even as he enters his autumn, that you have neither forgotten, nor forgiven.