Informational Article: Childhood Sexual Abuse Fact Sheet

Statistics On Victims:

Gender/Sex of Victims:

  1. 1/5 or about 20% of female will experience sexual abuse before the age of 18 in the US. This does include non-contact abuse. (1)
  2. 1/20 to 1/10 or 5 to 10% of males will be sexually abused before the age of 18 in the US. This does include non-contact abuse (1)
  3. Globally females show around a 1/5 rate (2):
    • 37.8% in Australia
    • 32.2% in Costa Rica
    • 31% in Tanzania
    • 30.7% in Israel
    • 28.1% in Sweden
    • 25.3% in the US
    • 24.2% in Switzerland
  4. 2/25 or around 8% rate is shown in males Globally(2)
  5. Global Aggregates show up to 31 % for girls and 3 to 17 % for boys (3)
  6. 47% of transgender & non-binary people were sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime (22)

Rates by Race/Ethnicity in US(4):

  1. Asian: 1.6%
  2. Black: 13.9%
  3. Hispanic (non-white): 8%
  4. Indigenous Americans/Alaskan Natives: 14.3%
  5. Mixed Race: 11.3%
  6. Pacific Islander: 8.7%
  7. White: 8.1%

Specific Forms of Abuse:

  1. 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet before the age of 18 (4)
  2. 2 million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade (24)
  3. Gender and age profile of victims detected globally: 59% Women – 14% Men – 17% Girls and 10% were Boys (24)
  4. The average age for a minor to enter the sex trade is 12 – 14 (6)
  5. Up to 300,000 Americans under 18 are lured into the commercial sex trade every year (24)

Misc. Data:

  1. Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents. (18)
  2. Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: they are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.(18)
  3. Children with disabilities are 2.9 times more likely than children without disabilities to be sexually abused. (10)
  4. Rates of sexual assault among Aboriginal children in 2012 were between 2 and 4 times higher than those for non-Aboriginal children in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory (23)

Statistics On Perpetrators

Relation To Victim:

  1. 4% were unmarried partners of a parent (4)
  2. 5% were “other” [from siblings to strangers] (4)
  3. 6% were other relatives (4)
  4. 80% of perpetrators were a parent (4)
  5. About 90% of children who are victims of sexual abuse know their abuser. (13)

Demographics of Abusers:

  1. 47,000 men and 5,000 women were the alleged perpetrators (4)
  2. Homosexual [gay/lesbian] individuals are no more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual individuals. (14)
  3. In 88% of the sexual abuse claims that CPS substantiates or finds supporting evidence of, the perpetrator is male. In 9% of cases they are female, and 3% are unknown(4)
  4. Juveniles make up 20% of those arrested for sex offenses (8)

Statistics on Reporting

  1. 60% of children who are sexually abused do not disclose (7)
  2. Child protective service agencies investigate only 20% of the incidents/children identified and reported by school personnel. & School personnel identify 52% of all identified child abuse cases (18)
  3. It is estimated that only 4 to 8% of child sexual abuse reports are fabricated. And most occur in context of custody cases and initiated by a parent (26)
  4. Researchers estimate that 38% of child victims disclose the fact that they have been sexuallyabused (19)

Long Term Effects of Child Abuse

Health Effects

  1. 45% of pregnant teens report a history of child sexual abuse. (16)
  2. Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are 30% more likely than their non-abused peers to have a serious medical condition such as diabetes, cancer, heart problems, stroke or hypertension. (17)
  3. Adults with a history of child sexual abuse are more than twice as likely to report a suicide attempt. (25)
  4. Adult women who were sexually abused as a child are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as women who were not sexually abused. (21)
  5. Of adults who receive mental health services, it’s thought that as many as 50% of women and 25% of men have experienced childhood sexual abuse (12)
  6. Victims are 3 times more likely to experience a major depressive episode as adults (5)
  7. Victims are 4 times more likely to develop symptoms of drug abuse (5)
  8. Victims are 4 times more likely to experience PTSD as adults (5)
  9. Women who were sexually abused as children were four times more likely than their nonabused peers to be diagnosed with an eating disorder (15)

Social Outcomes

  1. Children and teens who have been sexually abused are no more likely to become sexually abusive adults than children who have not experienced abuse (11)
  2. More than one-third (35.2%) of the women who reported a completed rape before the age of 18 also experienced a completed rape as an adult, Thus, the percentage of women who were raped as children or adolescents and also raped as adults was more than two times higher than the percentage among women without an early rape history. (9)
  3. Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children. (20)
  4. Sexually abused children tended to perform lower on psychometric tests measuring cognitive ability, academic achievement, and memory assessments when compared to same-age non-sexually abused peers. (27)


1)“Child Sexual Abuse Statistics.” Child Sexual Abuse Statistics, National Center for Victims of Crime,

2)Wihbey J. Global prevalence of child sexual abuse. Journalist Resource. [Last on Aug and Updated on 2011 Nov 15]. Available from:

3)Barth J, Bermetz L, Heim E, Trelle S, Tonia T. The current prevalence of child sexual abuse worldwide: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Public Health. 2013 Jun;58(3):469-83. doi: 10.1007/s00038-012-0426-1. Epub 2012 Nov 21. Review. PubMed PMID: 23178922.

4)United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. Child Maltreatment Survey, 2016 (2018).

5)H.M Zinzow, H.S. Resnick, J.L. McCauley, A.B. Amstadter, K.J. Ruggiero, & D.G. Kilpatrick, Prevalence and risk of psychiatric disorders as a function of variant rape histories: results from a national survey of women. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 47(6), 893-902 (2012).

6)Smith, L.A., Vardaman, S. H. & Snow, M. A. (2009). The national report on domestic minor sex trafficking: America’s prostituted children. Retrieved from Shared Hope website:

7)Broman-Fulks, J. J., Ruggiero, K. J., Hanson, R. F., Smith, D. W., Resnick, H. S., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Saunders, B. S. (2007). Sexual assault disclosure in relation to adolescent mental health: Results from the National Survey of Adolescents. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 36(2), 260 – 266. doi:10.1080/1537441070127970

8)Hanson, R., Harris, A.J.R., Helmus, L., & Thornton, D. (2014). High-risk sex offenders may not be high risk forever. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(15), 2792-2813. doi:10.1177/0886260514526062

9)Lalor, K., & McElvaney, R. (2010). Child sexual abuse, links to later sexual exploitation/high-risk sexual behavior, and prevention/treatment programs. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 11,159-177. doi:10.1177/1524838010378299

10)Smith, N., & Harrell, S. (2013). Sexual abuse of children with disabilities: A national snapshot. Retrieved from Vera Institute website:

11)Widom, C S, and C Massey. “A Prospective Examination of Whether Childhood Sexual Abuse Predicts Subsequent Sexual Offending.” Jama Pediatrics, 5 Jan. 2015,

12)Cavanagh, M, Read, J. and New, B. (2004). Sexual abuse inquiry and response: A New Zealand training programme. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 33(3)

13)Finkelhor, D. (2012). Characteristics of crimes against juveniles. Durham, NH: Crimes against Children Research Center.

14)Jenny, Carole, Roesler, Thomas A. , Poyer, Kimberly L. (1994) Are children at risk for sexual abuse by homosexuals? Pediatrics, Vol. 94 No. 1

15)Fuemmeler, B. F., Dedert, E., McClernon, F. J., & Beckham, J. C. (2009). Adverse childhood events are associated with obesity and disordered eating: Results from a U.S. population-based survey of young adults. Journal of Traumatic Stress

16)Noll, J. G., Shenk, C. E., & Putnam, K. T. (2009). Childhood sexual abuse and adolescent pregnancy: A meta-analytic update. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 34, 366-378.

17)Sachs-Ericsson, N., Blazer, D., Plant, E. A., & Arnow, B. (2005). Childhood sexual and physical abuse and 1-year prevalence of medical problems in the National Comorbidity Survey. Health Psychology, 24, 32 – 40.

18) Sedlak, A.J., Mettenburg, J., Basena, M., Petta, I., McPherson, K., Greene, A., and Li, S. (2010). Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS–4): Report to Congress, Executive Summary. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families.

19)London, K., Bruck, M., Ceci, S., & Shuman, D. (2003) Disclosure of child sexual abuse: What does the research tell us about the ways that children tell? Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 11(1), 194-226.

20)Staff. “Child Abuse Statistics.” Indiana Center for the Prevention of Youth Abuse & Suicide, Indiana Center for the Prevention of Youth Abuse & Suicide , 2018,

21)Rohde, P., Ichikawa, L., Simon, G. E., Ludman, E. J., Linde, J. A. Jeffery, R. W., & Operskalski, B. H. (2008). Associations of child sexual and physical abuse with obesity and depression in middle-aged women. Child Abuse & Neglect

22)James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). Executive Summary of the Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality. The full report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey is available at

23) Korff, J 2019, Aboriginal sexual abuse, <;, retrieved 2 April 2019

24)“What Are the Statistics on Human Trafficking of Children?” Ark of Hope for Children, Ark of Hope for Children, 31 July 2017,

25)Dube, S. A., Anda, R. F., Whitfield, C. L., Brown, D. W., Felitti, D. J., Dong, M., & Giles, W. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of the victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine

26)Everson, M., and Boat, B. (1989). False allegations of sexual abuse by children and adolescents.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

27)Wells, R., McCann, J., Adams, J., Voris, J., & Dahl, B. (1997). A validational study of the structured interview of symptoms associated with sexual abuse using three samples of sexually abused, allegedly abused, and nonabused boys. Child Abuse & Neglect

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