Child abuse stats

Approx 1 in 30 children (aged under 16 years old) in the UK have been sexually abused by an adult aged over 16 years old

Note: The NSPCC quote figures of 1 in 20, but that includes child versus child sexual abuse

  • Population of UK in 2014 was 64.1 million – Of which approx 14.5 million are aged under 16 years old which equates to approx 483,333 UK Children that have been sexually abused by an adult

1 in 3 UK children (approx 161,111) that have been sexually abused by an adult has not told anyone

 

2011 – 44 police forces in England and Wales recorded 23,097 child sex offences in 2011. That included rape, incest, child prostitution and child abuse images.

The annual figure is equivalent to 444 attacks a week — or one child in the UK abused every 20 minutes.

Only 2,135 of offences reported — Approx ten per cent — led to someone actually being convicted and sentenced.

2012 – Statistics from 44 police forces in England and Wales show that nearly 10 per cent of child sex attackers, including rapists, are allowed to walk free.

When the figures for those accused of child neglect or child cruelty are factored in, then more than 25 per cent of offenders who abuse children were let off with a caution.

There were 6,296 rapes of children recorded by police in England and Wales.

In 2012/13 there were:

There were a total of 23,663 sexual offences against children recorded by the police in the UK in 2012/13.

• 5,158 recorded offences of rape of a girl under 16 (2,365 offences of rape of a female child under 13 and 2,793 of rape of a female child under 16).

• 4,172 offences of sexual assault against girls aged under 13.

• 1,138 recorded offences of rape of boys aged under 16 (785 offences of rape of a male child under 13 and 353 of rape of a male child under 16).

• 1,267 recorded offences of sexual assault against boys aged under 13.

Trend: The number of recorded sexual offences against children aged under 16 increased by 23 per cent between 2004/5 and 2012/13. There has been a 10 per cent increase in the last year.
Rates have remained fairly stable, ranging between 1.4 and 1.8 sexual offences per 1,000 children aged under 16.

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Child homicides

Definition: The killing of one human being by another human being including murder or manslaughter

There were 69 child homicides across the UK in 2012/13 (67 in England and Wales, two in Scotland and none in Northern Ireland)

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Scotland: official statistics

Latest figure: 3,369 recorded sexual offences against children in 2012/13 (2,758 excluding offences that include victims up to the age of 18 – procuration of sexual services from child under 18; procuration of a child under 18 for indecent images; taking, distribution etc of indecent photos of children; and sexual abuse of trust of a person under 18)

Number and rate of recorded sexual offences against children aged under 16 in Scotland

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In 2012/13 in Scotland there were:

• 285 recorded offences of rape or attempted rape against children aged under 16 (170 rapes or attempted rapes of children aged 13 to 15 and 115 rapes or attempted rapes of children under 13).

• 634 recorded offences of sexual assault of a child aged under 16
(312 sexual assaults of a child aged 13 to 15 and 322 sexual assaults of children aged under 13).

Bail stats – TWO rapes and four child sex attacks are committed every week by criminals out on bail, shocking figures reveal.

In all the serial offenders — freed by courts while waiting for their case to be heard — carried out 1,231 serious crimes last year.

It works out at more than 23 a week. Over the year, 102 rape attacks and 206 sex offences against kids were carried out by people on bail.

 

Child abuse images

Child abuse images are a visual record of the sexual abuse of a child and include pseudo-photographs, animations, drawings, tracings, videos and films streamed live.

Although the exact number of child abuse images is unknown, it is estimated that in 2012 around 50,000 individuals in the UK were involved in downloading and sharing child abuse images.

In the last two years (2012), nearly 26 million child abuse images have been confiscated in England and Wales. The total comes from just five of the 43 police forces in England and Wales which were able to check their records.

The IWF removed 13,343 URLs of child abuse images (hosted in the UK and worldwide) in 2013, a 38 per cent increase on 2012

More than half (51 per cent) of these images were categorised as most severe, involving penetrative sexual activity either by objects, children, adults and/or animals.

The percentage of children aged under 10 in child abuse images has been steadily increasing since 2008: 81 per cent of images reported to the IWF involved a child aged 10 or under in 2013. 

Research has found a link between offenders viewing child abuse images and committing contact offending. A meta-analysis of research (Seto, 2011) concluded that there is a 55 per cent correlation between the possession of child abuse images and contact offending.

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Breakdown of stats

Overall, 11% of boys aged under 16 and 21% of girls aged under 16 experienced sexual abuse  during childhood.

The majority of children who experienced sexual abuse had more than one sexually abusive experience; only indecent exposure was likely to be a single incident.

Three-quarters (72%) of sexually abused children did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time. 27% told someone later (up to 5 years). Around a third (31%) still had not told anyone about their experience(s) by early adulthood.

More than one third (36%) of all rapes recorded by the police are committed against children under 16 years of age.

A study which examined police data on rapes committed against children found that children under the age of 12 were the most likely of all those aged 16 and under to have reported being raped by someone they knew well . Children under the age of 12 were least likely to have been raped by a stranger. Children between 13 and 15 years of age were the most likely to have reported being raped by an ‘acquaintance

For the children who experienced sexual abuse in the family, the most common perpetrator was a brother or stepbrother:

38% of penetrative/oral acts of sexual abuse in the family were by a brother/stepbrother

23% were perpetrated by a father

14% were perpetrated by an uncle

13% were perpetrated by a stepfather

8% were perpetrated by a cousin

6% were perpetrated by a grandfather

4% were perpetrated by a mother  .

For other forms of sexual abuse (attempted penetrative/oral acts, touching, voyeurism/pornography and exposure) brothers were also the most frequently cited perpetrator.

For the children who experienced sexual abuse outside of the family, the most common perpetrator was a boyfriend or girlfriend.

70% of penetrative/oral acts of sexual abuse outside of the family were by a boyfriend/girlfriend

17% were perpetrated by ‘someone I recently met’

10% were perpetrated by a fellow student/pupil

6% were perpetrated by a friend of their parents

6% were perpetrated by a friend of their brother/sister.

Very few children (less than 1%) experienced abuse by professionals in a position of trust, for example a teacher, religious leader or care/social worker.

Footnotes

1. The study defined sexual abuse as acts against the respondent’s wishes when aged under 16, or acts perpetrated by someone 5 or more years older when the child was aged 12 or under. Sexual acts were categorised as ‘contact’ (physical contact with genital, anal or other normally private areas of the body; and other physical contact such as sexual hugging and kissing) and ‘non-contact’ (exposure of genitals or other private areas of the body, voyeurism, exposing children to, or using them to make, pornography or to watch sexual acts). The study only included acts experienced by children aged up to 16.


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