Shocking Statistics


Statistics about sexual abuse from Darkness to Light’s website (References for the stats here).

An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual assault exist in America today (1)

1 in 4 girls is sexually assaulted before the age of 18 (96)1 in 6 boys is sexually assaulted before the age of 18 (96)
1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet (30, 87)30-40% of victims are abused by a family member (2, 44, 76)
40% are abused by older or larger children whom they know (1, 44)

Sexual abuse can occur at all ages, probably younger than you think

9 years old is the median age for reported assault (64)Over 20% of children are sexually assaulted before the age of 8 (76)
Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12 (74, 76)


When asked, most children don’t tell.  Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious.

Over 30% of victims never disclose the experience to ANYONE, EVER, AT ANY TIME in their livesYoung victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse

Almost 80% initially deny abuse or are tentative in disclosing

Of those who do disclose, approximately 75% disclose accidentallyAdditionally, of those who do disclose, more than 20% eventually recant even though the abuse occurred
Fabricated sexual abuse reports constitute only 1% to 4% of all reported casesOf these reports, 75% are falsely reported by adults and 25% are reported by children. Children only fabricate ½% of the time


Most perpetrators don’t molest only one child if they are not reported and stopped

Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims (23)

An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.

Childhood sexual abuse is an equal opportunity employer. It happens in poor and wealthy homes and among every ethnic class. It plays no favorites.

Now that you know the stats, learn how to minimize its potential impact in your home and community.

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