Abusers in positions of power use reputations to shield against accusations but can be spoken against, says victim advocate Louise Nicholas.
"There has been many a person that has held mana, that has held that esteem, that have fallen because survivors have come forward. It doesn't matter this person is highly respected - that's a cover."
The comments come as shock waves continue over claims politician and community leader Awanui Black, who died in 2016 aged 48, was a paedophile.
His former wife Anihera Zhou Black, in a harrowing Facebook Live broadcast, said Black was a "predator, a recruiter, a teacher, a pimp, a ringleader of one of the many child-adult sex rings" in Tauranga and across the country.
Black was a highly regarded regional councillor, Māori Party candidate and a Maori Language commissioner known as a champion of te reo.
In the wake of the broadcast, police said more information was being sought although they have yet to declare an investigation. It is believed officers have now met with Zhou Black.
Nicholas, who accused three police officers of rape and now works with police supporting victims, said she had seen the broadcast and praised Zhou Black for her "amazing courage".
"What she has done will help many, many people.
"The hard part for the survivors who have been sexually harmed in that way - he's now passed away. Where's the closure?"
She said she was willing to work with Zhou Black and any others to help find a way to come forward or to deal with the aftermath of Black's alleged predatory sexual behaviour.
"Their justice will come from words - from them speaking out. The person who has done the harm is no longer there to face."
A former senior police detective who had worked on child sex inquiries said historic sexual offending against children was difficult to investigate to the point of being "beyond reasonable doubt".
He said police knew paedophiles usually would not restrict themselves to a single victim and multiple complainants could provide a compelling narrative.
The former detective said officers would interview subjects to draw details - such as location, furnishings and other physical markers - which could be matched with details from the time, then attempt to independently verify those details.
Doing so would show consistency to complaints' accounts, he said.
Tauranga acting mayor Kelvin Clout said he had met with Zhou Black to offer personal support and to make sure there was council support where appropriate.
"He was very well regarded. This has come out of the blue for the community. It has been a devastating shock for us all."
Zhou Black spoke to Clout about bringing actor and mental health advocate Rob Mokaraka - the "Shot Bro" show - to Tauranga.
She had said she hoped council would host Mokaraka so his message could be heard by anyone and doing so was in keeping with the kaupapa of speaking out.
"He has a lot of relevant korero in his show our people need to see and embrace. I've watched people who have never stood up in their lives stand up and disclose. For me to see people freely speak to their demons was amazing."
Awanui Black's former colleague at the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Arapeta Tahana, said he had watched the video with his partner on Saturday.
Tahana said he was shocked by the claims.
"In fact, these allegations just don't align with my experiences of the man I knew, who was quite compassionate and loving and someone who cared deeply about people and this community. My heart goes out to Anihera and her family at this time," he said.
Those closest to Black are gathering in support of their friend with one of his oldest friends speaking for the group.
Pouroto Ngaropo, head of reo at Maori Television, said Awanui was a "loving and caring person" and always had a great relationship with the people he taught and worked with.
"Like lots of other people I was very shocked and stunned by these accusations, " he said.
Ngaropo said he was "really confused and very hurt" but offered love and support to Zhou Black. He said those who had rallied to Black's memory supported police inquiries and a marae consultation process being led by Ngati Pukenga.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council chairman Doug Leeder said any investigation that found grounds for Zhou Black's statement would lead to council reviewing the naming of an oil spill response boat "Awanui" in honour of Black.
In a written statement, Ngai Te Rangi iwi chief executive officer Paora Stanley, said: ""We urge anyone who has any information big or small that would substantiate or refute the allegations to take that information without hesitation to Tauranga police."