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UK Statistics

Prevalence of Sexual Abuse in a sample of 16-21 year olds.  

Study by: Liz Kelly, Linda Regan and Sheila Burton (UK).

Sample group of students in further education.
1,224 students: 62% female, 17% from minority ethnic groups, 48 individuals reported some form of disability.

Definition of abuse used:
Any event/interaction which the young person reported as abusive/unwanted before the age of 18.

59% of women and 27% of men reported such an incident.

A more restrictive form of definition based on type of abuse resulted in:

21% of women and 7% of men reported abuse.

Of men born in England and Wales in 1953, 7 in 1,000 have a conviction of sexual offences against a child, by age 40

Marshall, 1997 (UK).
It is worth noting that this statistic, based on Home Office Figures, refers only to men, not women, born in 1953 who have been charged and convicted of an offence against a child. If you consider that only 5% of cases get reported and of that 5% only 35% lead to charges, then a truly staggering picture begins to emerge of massive unreported numbers of offences against children. Add together this fact and the statistics about the number of victim each offendor abuses and it becomes even more staggering. Listed below are also the figures for children on the AT Risk Register for the same period and clearly, many, many thousands of cases are going undetected...many children are being abandoned to deal with this abuse alone.

7 in every 10,000 girls and 5 in every 10,000 boys are placed on the Child Protection Register for sexual abuse.               

Department of Health 1998 (UK)

On average men convicted of sexual offences against a child claim 5 or more undetected sexual assaults for which they were never apprehended or caught.                                          

Groth, Hobson and Garry 1982; Elliot, Browne and Kilcoyne, 1995 (UK).

Of cases that do come to the attention of the police, only 35% of the offenders are charged, 5% receive a caution and for 56% there is no further action.                

Prior, Glaser and Lynch, 1997 (UK).

Only 5% (of abuse cases in the study) were reported to any statutory agency- major reason fear of not being believed.   

Liz Kelly, Linda Regan and Sheila Burton (UK).


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