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Worrying statistics unveiled in latest ONS report on child sexual abuse

Worrying new statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have revealed that around 7.5% of adults aged between 18 and 74 years in England and Wales were subjected to sexual abuse before the age of 16.

That amounts to 3.1 million people,

Furthermore, the report - released in January of this year and relating to the period up until March 2019 - shows that the abuse is most likely to have been carried out by a friend or acquaintance (37%).

Such statistics provide an upsetting insight into the number of people across the country who have been affected by this issue, and serve as a timely reminder of the importance of local and national charities who work to provide much needed care, support and counselling to survivors.

The data, which comes from a range of different sources from across government and the voluntary sector, considers a number of key factors including the prevalence of abuse and the circumstances in which abuse takes place.

It also draws attention to the use of child abuse support services; with sexual abuse now the most common type of abuse counselled by Childline in recent years, and the most commonly reported type of abuse by adults calling the National Association for People Abused in Childhood’s (NAPAC’s) helpline.

And yet despite evidence that many people are reaching out for help, the data shows that the majority of victims did not tell anyone about their sexual abuse at the time, with “embarrassment” being the most common reason.

At Banner Jones, our physical and sexual abuse law experts have experience of representing abuse survivors and have recently launched a new legal clinic in support of Derbyshire-based charity SAIL -an organisation which offers specialist counselling for adults aged 18 and over who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, incest or sexual violence.

This service ensures that people can access support regarding a range of issues including how to bring claims against an individual who has committed the abuse; an organisation responsible for that person; or an organisation that should have taken steps to prevent that abuse but failed.

As part of that process, our team can help survivors access important financial support that can help them to rebuild their lives; with many having suffered great pain and loss – including, in many cases, a loss of earnings – as a result of their experiences.

Whether the abuse has taken place recently or many years ago as a child, survivors are still entitled to make a claim for compensation for the physical and psychological harm endured, with the claims treated in the same way as other injuries.

If you require further information, please contact our personal injury team or complete the contact form:

ONS Report:

Sarah Sadler
  • Chartered Legal Executive

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