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Published, 15 April 2019

NSPCC Child sexual abuse statistics briefing

To help professionals make evidence-based decisions, the NSPCC has published a briefing introducing the data available on child sexual abuse and exploitation. Using a variety of data sources, including research with 2,275 young people aged 11-17, the NSPCC estimates 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused. It is the only large-scale research study covering the whole of the UK which asked young people rather than their parents or carers.

Key findings from the briefing include:

•    Over a third of all police-recorded sexual offences are against children
•    Sexual abuse is carried out by peers in approximately a third of cases
•    Girls and older children are more likely to experience sexual abuse
•    Over 90% of sexually abused children were abused by someone they know

The briefing also notes that the number of police-recorded child sexual offences is increasing.


The briefing describes the types of data available, how it can be used, and what it tells us.

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