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Facts About Sexual Abuse

Mississippi Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 1-800-222-8000
or Report Abuse online HERE.

  • 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. (Simpson, C., Odor, R., & Masho, S. 2004 August. Childhood Sexual Assault Victimization in Virginia. Center for Injury & Violence Prevention. Virginia Department of Health.)
  • An estimated 39 million survivors of sexual abuse exist in America. (Abel, G., Becker, J., Mittelman, M., Cunningham-Rathner, J., & Murphy, W. 1987. Self reported sex crimes on non-incarcerated paraphiliacs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2(1), 3-25.)
  • Only 29% of parents ever mention or discuss sexual abuse with their children. That is, 71% of parents never talk about sexual abuse or sexual abuse prevention with their children. (Finkelhor, D. 1986 Sourcebook on Child Sexual Abuse; Sage p. 229.)
  • More than half of all juvenile victims were younger than age 12. That is, 33% of ALL victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement were ages 12 through 17. An astounding 34% were under the age of 12. (Snyder, H)
  • The most disturbing fact is 14% of ALL victims or one in every seven victims of sexual assault reported to law enforcement agencies were UNDER AGE 6. (Snyder, H)
  • The median age for reported sexual abuse is 9 years old. (Putnam, F. 2003. Ten-year researches update review: Child sexual abuse. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 42, 269-278.)
  • Only one in ten child victims reports the abuse. (Janssen, M. 1994. Incest, Exploitative Child Abuse; The Police Chief Magazine, 51, 46-7.)
  • Most child victims NEVER REPORT the abuse. (Kilpatrick, D., Saunders, B., & Smith, D., 2003. Youth Victimization: Prevalence and Implications. U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice report.)
  • Children often fail to report because of the fear that disclosure will bring consequences even worse than being victimized again. Such as parents not believing, Daddy moving out and losing all financial support, tearing family apart, parents blaming child, parents thinking the child is at fault. (Berlinger, L. & Barbieri, M.K. 1984. The Testimony of the Child Victim of Sexual Assault. Journal of Social Issues, 40, p. 125-137.)
  • 93% of all victims know their abusers. (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2000, Sexual Assault on Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement; US Department of Justice, Office of Justice.)
  • Records indicate, in cases involving victims younger than 6, the perpetrators were strangers in only 3% of sexual assaults. Strangers committed the crimes against children, aged 6-11, in only 5% of the cases. (Snyder, H.)
  • Nearly 5 of every 6 sexual assaults of young juveniles occurred in a residence. (Snyder, H.)
  • “As some researchers have begun to suspect, it may be the case that a growing number of stepfathers are really ‘smart pedophiles,’ who marry divorced or single women with families as a way of getting close to children.” (Crewdson, J. 1988. By Silence Betrayed: Sexual Abuse of Children in America. p. 31)
  • It is estimated that children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more vulnerable to sexual abuse than their nondisabled peers. (National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, 1992.)
  • Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse possibly because the child is tricked by a game or the child’s first sexual experience is manipulated by the perpetrator. (Gilbert, N. 1998. Teaching Children to Prevent Sexual Abuse. The Public Interest, 93, 3-15.)
  • The FBI estimates that there is a sex offender living in every square mile of the United States. How well do you know your neighbor?

Locate sex offenders at http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov.

It is highly likely that you know a child who has been or is being sexually abused. It is also likely that you know an abuser. The greatest risk to our children doesn’t come form strangers but from family and friends.

WE ALL HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN IN OUR LIVES.