Prevent Children from being Sexually Abused
The figures are very upsetting.
In 1991 a survey was done by the Child Abuse Studies Unit of the University of North London and revealed that one in two girls (59%) and one in four boys (27%) will experience child sexual abuse by the time they are 18.
(Definition of abuse any event or interaction which the young person reported as abusive/unwanted before the age of 18.)
More recently arrests and convictions for offences relating to child pornography on the internet more than quadrupled between 2001 - 2003. Home Office figures show 2,234 people were cautioned or charged with crimes in 2003 compared with 549 two years earlier.
Child sexual abuse may have been with us throughout the ages, but it has remained hidden, and it is only relatively recently in the UK that legislation protecting the victim has been implemented. Because sexual abuse was not seen it was believed to not exist.
Today Childline provides help and counsel for children and the statistics around sexual abuse continue to be high. In 2002 – 2003 Childline counselled over 120,000 children – over 22,000 (20%) contacted Childline about sexual or physical abuse – sometimes both. In 2000 – 2001 9,857 children and young people (7,154 girls and 2,703 boys) called the Helpline about sexual abuse. Most children calling about abuse were between 10 and 15 years old.
Childline says “children often don’t tell about abuse because they have been threatened into keeping silent or made to feel ashamed and guilty”.
Sadly the shame and silence often continues into adulthood.
CHILDLINE: 0800 11 11
1. Children have the right to be safe.
2. Children are not to blame for being abused - the person hurting them is the one who has done wrong.
3. Children shouldn't have to feel like they have to deal with abuse on their own