A "change in culture" is needed within institutions and government if children are to be properly safeguarded, an interim report by the independent child sexual abuse inquiry has said.
It said "all too often" organisations put the reputation of their leaders and staff before the welfare of children and tackling abuse.
It called for society to have an "open and frank" conversation on the issue.
Some 13 investigations, each a part of the inquiry, are still to be completed.
The inquiry was set up in 2014 to investigate historical allegations of child abuse, as well as claims that authorities, including the police, failed to properly investigate these allegations.
The report said children and young people had told the inquiry that sexual abuse was "rarely" discussed and that they needed better practical advice on staying safe.
Presenting 18 separate recommendations, it added that discussion was not enough and needed to be followed by action.
The inquiry's chair, Prof Alexis Jay, said she expected to make "substantial progress" on the rest of the inquiry in the next two years.
She said: "We have much work still to do and evidence to hear - we will hold a further eight public hearings in the next 12 months alone - but we are making good progress.
"I indicated in December 2016 that I expected the inquiry to have made substantial progress by 2020. I believe we are on target to do that."