Child-on-child sex abuse 35%?

The Associated Press at nydailynews.com:

35.6% of child sex abuse cases are committed by other minors

Conducted by three prominent researchers, the 2009 analysis found that juveniles accounted for 35.6 percent of the people identified by police as having committed sex offenses against minors.

Of these young offenders, 93 percent were male, and the peak ages for offending were 12 through 14, the researchers found. Of the victims, 59 percent were younger than 12 and 75 percent were female.

The report referred to a popular misconception that juvenile sex offenders are likely to reoffend, and said numerous studies over the years have shown the opposite — that 85 to 95 percent of offending youth are never again arrested for sex crimes.

There are a range of interesting issues raised in this 5 page article including counterproductive legal mandates driven by misguided public opinion. Putting juvenile sex offenders on registers with adults when most of them will never reoffend being the prime example.

The figure of 35% of child sexual abuse cases being committed by other minors is interesting. However, from the prevention perspective, this does not alter the protective behaviours message. Your body is your body and no one else should touch it, if some one does tell some one you trust immediately (no secrets). Having a trusting and open relationship where the child feels that they can tell the parent anything is essential for successful parenting and avoiding many of the pitfalls encountered while growing up including sexual abuse.