Society owes a "great debt" to the victims of Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall, Dame Janet Smith said.
She thanked them for "your contribution and your courage" during the investigation.
"You are not to blame and your reasons for not reporting it are wholly understandable," said Dame Janet.
"Society owes you a great debt. Your legacy is that you have helped to convince us all of the importance of ensuring that young and vulnerable people have the confidence to report abuse, and when they do so their voices will be heard and treated with the same respect as those with power in our society.
"I think that is a legacy of which you can be justifiably proud."
A former Jim'll Fix It producer said he thought Savile's presence was "unnerving" to children.
Katrina Rose was just 14 when she was abused by Jimmy Savile but told ITV News she fears a similar scandal could happen again now.
Jimmy Savile's abuse could have been stopped if people had listened to "the small voice standing up against authority", Lord Hall has said.