We don't know exactly how many children in the UK experience sexual abuse. However, research with 2,275 young people aged 11-17 about their experiences of sexual abuse suggests around 1 in 20 children in the UK have been sexually abused.
Sexual abuse is usually hidden from view. Adults in the child or young person’s life may not recognise the signs of sexual abuse and the child may be too young, too scared or too ashamed to tell anyone what is happening to them.
There are a number of different sources of information, including data from services which work with children and research into children's and adults' self-reported experiences of abuse, which help build up a picture of the scale of abuse.
This briefing looks at what data and statistics are available about child sexual abuse to help professionals, and the organisations they work for, make evidence-based decisions.
A briefing summarising the findings from inspections of how agencies in England respond to child sexual abuse in the family.
Use our information and resources to help you recognise child sexual abuse when working or volunteering with children. Includes what signs to look out for and how to respond to concerns.
Highlights lessons from case reviews published since 2017 where child sexual abuse committed by adults was highlighted as a significant issue. Includes a summary of risk factors.
Our report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the four nations in the UK.
Find out what data is available and what it can tell us about how many children and young people experience abuse and neglect in the UK.
Explores the different issues to consider when looking at service data, self-report data, trends and comparing statistics across different areas in relation to child abuse.