National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse

NAASCA Highlights
- Feature Article -
EDITOR'S NOTE: Here are a few recent stories and feature articles from a variety of sources that are related to the kinds of issues we cover on our web site. They'll represent a small percentage of the information available to us, the public, as we fight to provide meaningful recovery services and help for those who've suffered child abuse. We'll add to and update this page regularly, bringing you just a few of the featured articles on the web site.
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by Laura A. Ahearn, L.M.S.W.
Executive Director



  Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center
FACT SHEET - Statistics of Child Sexual Abuse - Who Are The Victims?

"Adults sexually victimized as children have described their bodies as crime scenes, the evidence of victimization, indelibly imprinted. The memories of the abuse, the mechanisms of coping which developed as a result, and the lifelong consequences of choices made during adulthood, to deal with their suffering, are always there as a reminder of the victimization. Please join us in our efforts to prevent child sexual abuse and rape."
....Laura A. Ahearn, L.M.S.W.
....Executive Director

NAASCA recently encountered an excellent FACT SHEET on the statistics of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) which will be helpful to helping raise awareness and educate the public. The non profit Parent's for Megan's Law and Crime Victims Center is located in Suffock County, Long Island, New York.

The uniformed reader will no doubt be stunned. Yet these relate only to childhood sexual abuse, and NAASCA reminds you that we address all childhood abuse and traumas, be they sexual assault, violent and physical abuse, emotional and mental traumas or neglect and maltreatment.

We offer you their FACT SHEET below, but they also have many other useful resources and a lot of info that will help survivors, advocates and the public understand the issues of child abuse and trauma, including their book "Megan's Law Nationwide" (see a partial list on the left).

Here's their Mission Statement:

Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child sexual abuse and rape, the provision of services to victims of violent crime, and elderly, disabled and minor victims of all crime. Violence directed against victims is an abuse of power, often directed at our most vulnerable, and must be met with unwavering resolve to hold perpetrators accountable, and provide victims with the support and services they need. Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center is committed to informing victims of their rights, involving them in the decision making process, securing crime victim compensation to which they are entitled and treating every victim with respect and dignity. The organization provides victim services training to law enforcement and works collaboratively with them to ensure an accurate and up-to-date sex offender registry.

FACT SHEET from Parents For Megan's Law

The Statistics of Child Sexual Abuse - Who Are The Victims?

One in three girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 [1]

1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.[2]

One in 5 youth received a sexual approach or solicitation over the Internet in the past year.[3]

The average age for first abuse is 9.9 years for boys and 9.6 years for girls. [3]

Abuse typically occurs within a long-term, on-going relationship between the offender and victim, escalates over time and lasts an average of four years.[4]

Many child sexual abuse victims never disclose their abuse to anyone. Less than 12% of child sexual abuse is reported to the police.[5]

Children are most vulnerable between ages 7-13.[6]

29% of all forcible rapes occurred when the victim was under 11 years old.[7]

15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12.[8]

44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 18.[8]

Children with disabilities are 4 to 10 times more vulnerable to sexual abuse than their non-disabled peers.[9]

Nearly 30% of child sexual assault victims identified by child protective service agencies were between 4 and 7 years of age.[10]

93% of juvenile sexual assault victims know their attacker, 34.2% of attackers were family members and 58.7% were acquaintances and only 7% of the perpetrators were strangers to the victim.[11]

Nearly 50% of all the victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under the age of 12.[12]

60% of girls who had sex before the age of 15 were coerced by males averaging 6 years their senior.[13]

Women who experienced sexual abuse as a child are 2 to 3 times more likely to be sexually assaulted later in life.[1]

Like rape, child molestation is one of the most underreported crimes: only 1-10% are ever disclosed. Source: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported cases. Of these reports 75% are reported by adults. Children fabricate sexual abuse less than 1% of the time.[14]



What Are The Effects Of Child Sexual Abuse?

The experience of sexual abuse for a child distorts her or his self-concept, orientation to the world and affective capabilities.[16]

High rates of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, dissociative disorders, interpersonal dysfunction, sexual problems and suicidal ideation have all been identified to varying degrees among men and women who survive child sexual abuse.[17]

Child sexual assault victims are 4.7 times more likely to be the subsequent victim of a sex crime.[18]

Adolescents with a history of sexual abuse are significantly more likely to engage in sexual behavior that puts them at risk for HIV infection.[19]

A 1996 report from the US Department of Justice estimated rape and sexual abuse of children to cost $1.5 billion in medical expenses and $23 billion total annually to US victims.[20]

When sexually abused children are not treated, society must later deal with resulting problems such as mental health issues, drug and alcohol abuse, crime, suicide and the perpetuation of a cycle of sexual abuse.[21]



[1] Arata, C. (2002) Child Sexual Abuse and Sexual Revictimization. Clinical Psychology, 9: 135-164.
[2] Hopper, J. (1998). Child Sexual Abuse: Statistics, Research, Resources. Boston, MA Boston University School of Medicine. Child Sexual Abuse: A Mental Health Issue. Kentucky Division of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
[3] David Finkelhor, Kimberly J. Mitchell, and Janis Wolak, 2000, Online Victimization: A Report on the Nation’s Youth, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: Arlington, VA. Darkness 2 Light. Statistics Surrounding Child Sexual Abuse.
[4] American Academy of Pediatrics, Preventing Sexual Violence, An Educational Toolkit for Health Care Professionals, The Facts about Sexual Violence,
[5] Hanson, R. F., Resnick, H. S., Saunders, B. E., Kilpatrick, D. G., & Best, C. (1999). Factors related to the reporting of childhood rape. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, 559–569. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(99)00028-9.
[6] David Finkelhor, Director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center.
[7] National Center for Victims of Crime and Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 1992
[8] US Department of Justice Sex Offense and Offenders Study. 1997.
[9] Sobsey, D. (1994). Violence and abuse in the lives of people with disabilities: The end of silent acceptance? Baltimore: Paul H. Brooks.
[10] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families, Child Maltreatment, 1995.
[11] Simpson, C., Odor, R., & Masho, S. (2004 August). Childhood Sexual Assault Victimization in Virginia. Center for Injury & Violence Prevention. Virginia Department of Health, Snyder, H N. (2000). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: Victim, incident, and offender characteristics. National Center for Juvenile Justice, U.S. Department of Justice.
[12] U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics, by Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D., National Center for Juvenile Justice, July 2000, NCJ 182990,
[13] The Alan Guttmacher Institute. 1994. Sex and American Teenagers.
[14] Hanson, R.F., Resnick, H.S., Saunders, B.E., Kilpatrick, D.G., & Best, C. (1999). Factors Relating to the Reporting of Childhood Sexual Assault. Child Abuse and Neglect, (23) 559-569; FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin
[15] David Finkelhor and Gerald Hotaling, Sexual Abuse in a National Survey of Adult Men and Women: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors, Child Abuse and Neglect (1990), 14, 19-28.
[16] Finkelhor D, Browne A. The traumatic impact of child sexual abuse: A Conceptualization. J Orthopsychiat. 1985;55:530–541.
[17] Browne, A., & Finkelhor, D. (1986), Impact of child sexual abuse: A review of the research. Psychological Bulletin, 99, 66-77.
[18] Merrill, L.L., Newell, C.E., Gold, S.R., and Millen, J.S. Childhood Abuse and Sexual Revictimization in a Female Navy Recruit Sample. Naval Health Research Center, Pub. 97-5, 1997.
[19] Larry K. Brown, M.D., et al, American Journal of Psychiatry 2000;157:1413-1415.
[20] T. R. Miller, M. A. Cohen, B. Wiersema, Victim costs and consequences: A new look. (US Department of Justice, Washington, DC., 1996).
[21] Jennifer Brownell, Director of the local CAC, Finger Lakes Child Abuse Response Team


NOTE: For even more great stats Laura Ahearn suggests her 25 page "Sex Offender Registration and Notification, a Common Sense Approach"

programs / projects
together we can heal
help stop child abuse
a little about us
join us, get involved