We do not know the true number of children and young people affected by harmful sexual behaviour (HSB). HSB covers a wide range of behaviours, many of which do not come to the attention of authorities. However, some attempts to estimate the prevalence of HSB have been made using data from children’s self-reported experiences of sexual abuse by peers and services which work with children who display HSB.
From this research we can estimate that around a third of child sexual abuse is by other children and young people.
This briefing looks at what data and statistics are available about HSB to help professionals, and the organisations they work for, make evidence-based decisions.
Learn about the different stages of sexualised behaviour, how to recognise whether they are healthy or age-appropriate and how to respond to and prevent harmful sexual behaviour.
Provides learning for professionals around responding appropriately to children and young people who have displayed HSB or been impacted by it and assessing their needs.
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.