(Courtesy of Darkness to Light )


Below are statistics surrounding the issue of child sexual abuse. In presenting the statistics, the pages are organized by Prevalence and Consequences.

  •  PREVALENCE is the percentage of the population that is affected by child sexual abuse; the general existence of child sexual abuse.
  • CONSEQUENCE is the impact that child sexual abuse has on a victim/survivor and on our society over time.
  • Sexual abuse touches every life when it leads to losses of trust, decreases in self esteem, and development of shame, guilt and depression.
  • Sexual abuse touches every life when it leads to eating disorders, substance abuse, suicide, promiscuity/prostitution, and other psychological behavioral issues.

The statistics are shocking

  • 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
  • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet.
  • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.

Even within the walls of their own homes, children are at risk for sexual abuse

  • 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
  • Another 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
  • Approximately 40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know.
  • Therefore, only 10% are abused by strangers

Sexual abuse can occur at all ages, probably younger than you think

  • The median age for reported abuse is 9 years old.
  • More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8.
  • Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12.

Most children don't tell even if they have been asked

  • Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
  • Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE.
  • Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
  • Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing. Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentally. Additionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred.
  • Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time.