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Childhood Sexual Abuse Facts & Statistics

In a world where child sexual abuse is a very serious social concern, I believe it's vitally important to begin educating our children from a very young age. Particularly, as statistics indicate that the most vulnerable age for children to be exposed to sexual assault, appears to be between the ages of 3 and 8 years of age, with the majority of onset of abuse happening between these ages.*

Sadly, statistics** also indicate that 12% of females and 4.5% of males report having been sexually abused before the age of 15 years. In reality, the statistics are probably much higher as these only reflect the cases that were actually reported at or around the time of the abuse. Of those reported cases:

  • 45% were abused be a relative (i.e. parent, step-parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunty or cousin)'

  • 47% were abused by a friend, neighbour, acquaintance or were otherwise known to them;

  • 11% were abused by a stranger.

And as recent reports have revealed, abuse can even be perpetrated by a child's own peers.

*According to Bravehearts' Sexual Assault Facts and Statistics documents 2012.
**According to statistics cited in the Australian Institute of Criminology's website.



Contact numbers in Australia if you suspect a child has been abused:

If you believe a child is in immediate danger or a lift threatening situation please call 000.

To report abuse or suspected abuse, you will need to contact the appropriate authority in your state or territory.  Click HERE for a list of departments responsible for child protection in your state or territory on the Bravehearts website.

For those seeking advice or help related to child sexual abuse, including what to do if your child or someone you know has disclosed child sexual abuse please phone the Bravehearts Information & Support Line on 1800 272 831, Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.

Alternatively you can call the 1800RESPECT National Helpline on 1800 737 732,  24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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