10 Confronting Child Sexual Abuse Statistics

The sources for the following statistics are available below.

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1. 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. (Aust. Institute of Criminology, 1993)

2. In 95% of cases, the sexual offender is known to the child, that is, they are a relative or trusted friend. Only 5% of child sexual assault cases are ‘stranger danger’. (Child protection Council, 1993)

3. 84% of sexual victimization of children under 12 occurs in a residence. (Snyder, 2000)

4. 453 pedophiles revealed they were collectively responsible for the molestation of over 67,000 children; that averages 148 children per individual. (Abel, 1994)

5. The most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual assault is between 3 and 8 years with the majority of onset happening between these ages. (Browne & Lynch, 1994)

6. 20% of women had experience childhood sexual abuse, with the age of abuse being under the age of 12 years for 71% of these women (Fleming, 1997)

7. In 98% of child abuse cases reported to officials, children’s statements were found to be true. (NSW Child Protection Council, cited in Dympna House 1998)

8. 1 in 3 Australians would not believe a child if they disclosed sexual abuse. (Australian Childhood Foundation, 2010)

9. 73% of child victims do not tell anyone about the abuse for at least 1 year. 45% do not tell anyone for 5 years. Some never disclose (Broman-Fulks et al, 2007)

10 As high as 81% of men and women in psychiatric hospitals with a variety of mental illness diagnoses, have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse. 67% of these men and women were abused as children (Jacobson & Richardson, 1987)

For more child sexual abuse statistics see Child Sexual Assault: Facts and Statistics http://www.bravehearts.org.au/files/Facts%20and%20Stats_updated141212.pdf

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Jay Sanders

Jayneen (Jay) Sanders is an experienced primary school teacher and a successful children's book author. She is also the mother of three teenage girls and has been a primary school councillor for over seven years. Her time spent in primary schools inspired her to ask: ‘What are we doing in schools to protect our children from sexual interference?’ When she realised very little was actually being done, she decided to write a book to help parents, carers and teachers to broach the subject of self-protection and to encourage children to speak up.