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Child abuse statistics

You want to protect your children. We're here to help.

Child sexual abuse is a "hidden" crime. Usually it is committed not by strangers, but by people both you and your children trust. There is no "profile" of an abuser, but there are some things you can be aware of. Child sexual abuse crosses the boundaries of income, race, and age.

  • 1 of every 3 girls will be sexually assaulted before she is 18.
  • 1 of every 5 boys will be sexually assaulted before he is 18.
  • At least 80% of the time, children know the offenders, most often a trusted parent or caretaker.
  • In approximately half of the cases in which the child knows the offender, the trusted adult is a father or stepfather.
  • An estimated 9 out of 10 cases of child sexual abuse are never reported.
  • 3 and 11 are the most common ages for sexual abuse to begin.
  • The average sexual abuse “incident” is not a one-time event. Rather, it is an ongoing cycle of exploitation that lasts for one or more years.
  • Sexual abuse of children occurs in every class, race, religion, neighborhood, cultural and ethnic group.
  • 1,957 reports of child abuse were reviewed by the Team at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center in FY 2007.
  • The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect estimates as many as 100,000 to 200,000 children are physically abused each year. Five times as many are neglected. Abuse is the second leading cause of death, behind Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for children 0-5 years of age.
  • Domestic violence is any physical or emotional behavior perpetrated by one person toward another to control the other person’s behavior, regardless of injury or frequency of incident.
  • Children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or neglected at a rate 1500% higher than the national average.
  • Nationally, 75% of battered women say their children are also battered.
  • 53% of battering husbands also batter their children.

These statistics and this information are designed to help you, the parent. The more information you have, the more you can do to help protect your children.