child sexual abuse

As with all types of sexual abuse, the incidence of child sexual abuse is difficult to quantify because it is rarely reported. The definition of child sexual abuse may vary from study to study, which can also impact statistics.

We think of sexual abuse being prosecuted in a criminal case, but a sex crime can also be part of a lawsuit in a civil case. While a criminal charge against a perpetrator can bring fines, probation and jail time; a civil lawsuit is aimed at monetary compensation for the victim of the sexual abuse or molestation. Personal injury lawyers are the best type of attorney to present a civil injury case.

Child abuse research and statistics

The 2010 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report entitled “Child Maltreatment” found that 9.2 percent of all victimized children were sexually assaulted.

David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, conducted studies showing:

  • One in five girls and one in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse.
  • In studies reliant on self-reporting, 20 percent of adult females and five to ten percent of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident.
  • Over the course of a one-year period, 16 percent of American youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized.
  • Over the course of their lifetime, 28 percent of U.S. youth ages 14 to 17 had been sexually victimized.
  • Children between the ages of 7 and 13 are the most vulnerable to child sexual abuse.

A 2012 maltreatment report, found that of the victims who were sexually abused, 26 percent were 12–14 years of age and 34 percent were younger than 9 years old.

Approximately 1.8 million adolescents in the United States have been the victims of sexual assault.

According to research conducted and released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that about one in six boys and one in four girls are sexually abused before the age of 18.

About one third (35.8 percent) of sexual assaults occur when the victim is between the ages of 12 and 17.

According to a report released in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics:

  • 82 percent of all juvenile victims are female.
  • 69 percent of the teen sexual assaults reported to law enforcement occurred in the residence of the victim, the offender or another individual.

According to the “National Crime Victimization Survey” released by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1996: teens 16 to 19 years of age were 3.5 times more likely than the overall population to be victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

According to a study released by the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2001, approximately one in five female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner.

Some experts estimate that up to 40 percent of children who have been sexually abused do not present with symptoms; others experience serious and long-lasting damage.

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