Statistics on Sexual Abuse in the United States

Statistics for Child and Teen Victims of Sexual Abuse

  • According to one study, 1 in 7 (13%) youth Internet users receive unwanted sexual solicitations, and 9% of youth Internet users have been exposed to distressing sexual material while online.
  • Approximately 1 in 25 youths receives sexual solicitation from a person trying to make offline contact.
  • The majority of juvenile victims questioned for an Internet-initiated sex crime survey met their predator in person. According to one survey, 93% of these encounters included sexual contact.
  • Children often do not report sexual abuse immediately due to fear of negative reactions or harm at the hands of their abuser.
  • When children do disclose, it tends to be to a friend or a sibling, not to an authority figure.
  • Historically, professionals have believed that children frequently report false accounts of sexual abuse. However, current research suggests that false allegations of sexual abuse are far less common than once thought; recantations of allegations are also uncommon.

Information and Statistics about perpetrators of child sexual abuse

  • An estimated 60% of perpetrators are non-family members that the child knows. About 30% of perpetrators are the child's family members, while the remaining 10% of perpetrators are strangers.
  • An estimated 23% of those who sexually abuse children are under the age of 18.
  • Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know About Sex Offenders (pdf)

 

Sources and References for information on Child Sexual Abuse in the United States

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Division of Violence Prevention (2012). "Sexual Violence Data/Fact Sheet (2012)" https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/sv-datasheet-a.pdf

Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM). (2012). "Fact Sheet: What You Need to Know About Sex Offenders"

The National Center for Victims of Crime. (2012). "Child Sexual Abuse Statistics." https://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics

United States Department of Justice, National Sex Offender Public Website (NSPOW), Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). (2015). "RAISING AWARENESS ABOUT SEXUAL ABUSE: Facts and Statistics". https://www.nsopw.gov/en-US/Education/FactsStatistics

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