Child sexual abuse: NSPCC research briefing
An overview of the current research literature on child sexual abuse.
- Sexual abuse is largely hidden and can be difficult to uncover.
- Nearly a quarter of young adults (24.1%) experienced sexual abuse (including contact and non-contact), by an adult or by a peer during childhood (Radford et al, 2011).
- Disabled children can be particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse.
- Sexually abused children can suffer a range of psychological and emotional problems especially if the abuse is never uncovered.
- Sometimes the only chance of uncovering sexual abuse is when a child makes a disclosure and many victims wait years before telling anybody about their abuse.
- Child sexual exploitation, which has received an increased focus over the last two years, should be seen as part of a wider problem of child sexual abuse.
- Sexual abuse prevention is best approached by treating the issue of child sexual abuse as a public health problem.