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Survivors, you are not alone

Recent media attention around the sexual exploitation and abuse of vulnerable young people, by well known popular celebrities in our country, has served the purpose of bringing the subject of childhood sexual abuse into the public domain such a way that can no longer be ignored or brushed under the proverbial carpet


Those of us who are more familiar and knowledgeable around the issue of CSA either through personal experience ,or on a professional level, welcome and celebrate the recent media attention, as we believe that it is acting as a catalyst to exposing this final taboo and horrendous crime against children and humanity


Reactions to this exposure vary from shock, disbelief, disgust, outrage to denial or disinterest.  On the whole the general public are appalled and sickened.  Whichever stance we personally choose to take, there is no denying the facts.


According to recent statistics;

  • One in six children aged 11-17 (16.5%) have experienced sexual abuse.

  • Nearly a quarter of young adults (24.1%) experienced sexual abuse (including contact and non-contact) by an adult or by a peer during childhood

  • In 2011, almost 21,000 allegations of children suffering abuse were passed from the NSPCC to police or children’s services

  • Police recorded over 23,000 sex offences against children aged under 18 years in England and Wales between April 2010 and March 2011.2

  • 11.3% (1 in 9) of young adults said they had experienced contact sexual abuse during their childhood. In a 2000 NSPCC study 72% of sexually abused children did not tell anyone about the abuse at the time and 27% told someone later. Approximately one third (31%) still had not told anyone about their experience(s) by early adulthood.

Below are the key findings on child sexual abuse.

  • One in nine young adults (11.3%) experienced contact sexual abuse during childhood.

  • One in 20 children aged 11-17 (4.8%) have experienced contact sexual abuse.

  • Two thirds (65.9%) of contact sexual abuse experienced by children aged 0-17 was perpetrated by someone aged under 18.

  • More than one in three children aged 11-17 (34%) who experienced contact sexual abuse by an adult did not tell anyone else about it.

  • Four out of five children aged 11-17 (82.7%) who experienced contact sexual abuse from a peer did not tell anyone else about it.


From: Radford, Lorraine, Corral, Susana, Bradley, Christine, Fisher, Helen, Bassett, Claire, Howat, Nick and Collishaw, Stephan (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today. London: NSPCC.

Crime Stats

  • 17,727 sexual crimes against children under 16 were recorded in England and Wales in 2010/11.

  • 32% of all sexual crimes (54,982 sexual crimes in total) recorded in England and Wales in 2010/11 were sexual crimes against children under 16.

  • In 2010/11 the police in England and Wales recorded: 

  • 5,115 offences of rape of a female child under 16

  • 918 offences of rape of a male child under 16

  • 4,301 offences of sexual assault on a female child under 13

  • 1,125 offences of sexual assault on a male child under 13

  • 5,806 offences of sexual activity involving a child under 16

  • 152 offences of abuse of children through prostitution and pornography

  • 310 offences of sexual grooming.

  • In 2010/11 the police in England and Wales also recorded 146 offences of abuse of a position of trust involving a child under 18.

  • More than one third (38%) of all rapes recorded by the police in England and Wales in 2010/11 were committed against children under 16 years of age.

From: Chaplin, Rupert, Faltley, John and Smith, Kevin (eds.) (2011) Table 2.04. In: Crime in England and Wales 2010/11: findings from the British Crime Survey and police recorded crime (PDF). London: National Statistics. p.43.

These statistics are by no means a true reflection the scale of the problem that, as a society face in regards to the sexual abuse of our children and young people, the vast majority of abuse cases go unreported and are covered up by those who may know a child is, or has been abused but choose not to support the child, which is a very common reaction, particularly for abuse committed within the family unit.  

Sexual abuse of children and young people is alive and active in the here and now, despite misguided perceptions, our innocent vulnerable young people are not being abused by middle-aged men in greasy overcoats, who tempt them with sweeties or jump out at them from behind bushes at the local park, but much worse than this, on the whole they are being systematically groomed and abused by smiling, happy, friendly faced adults who they know and trust.

Our service acknowledges and has a great deal of respect and admiration to the large national organisations and services who are working so effectively, on campaigns that are currently raising awareness of sexual abuse, particularly in the lives of young people. The present and future generations of children will hopefully be fortunate, to be equipped with the knowledge, vocabulary and means whereby they can recognise and report any instances of abuse or concerns they may personally have.It will be many years before we have the statistics and factual evidence which will reflect the positive impact such organisations and such services will have.  But it is very reassuring to know that the tide of ignorance, denial and inaction towards CSA has finally turned.