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Facts and Figures

Sexual violence against children in Europe

  • Available data suggest that about 1 in 5 children in Europe are victims of some form of sexual violence.
  • It is estimated that in 70% to 85% of cases, the abuser is somebody the child knows and trusts. Child sexual violence can take many forms: sexual abuse within the family circle, child pornography and prostitution, corruption, solicitation via Internet and sexual assault by peers.

The Council of Europe 1in5 Campaign

Child sexual abuse (high-income countries)

  • During childhood, between 5-10% of girls and up to 5% of boys are exposed to penetrative sexual abuse – 3 times this number are exposed to any form of sexual abuse

The Lancet (Gilbert et al., 2009)

Sexual abuse in sport

  • The NSPCC‘s survey of 6000 students in the UK highlighted that 29% had experienced sexual harassment in sport (17% male, 34% female)
  • The National Police Chiefs’ Council in the UK estimate that the number of victims coming forward with allegations of non-recent child sexual abuse within sport stands at 784 (at 28 September 2017). 96% of those identified as victims are male. 331 football clubs have been impacted
  • Dr Tine Vertommen‘s research involving 4000 adults who had participated in sport as children in Belgium and the Netherlands revealed that 14% had experienced sexual violence (17% female, 11% male)
  • Dr Bettina Rulofs‘ study found that one third of German squad athletes have experienced some form of sexualised violence in sport. One in nine German athletes experienced severe sexual violence, such as sexual assault and rape

Sexual violence in Europe

  • 1 in 20 women (5%) has been raped since the age of 15
  • 18% of women have experienced stalking since the age of 15
  • 12% of women indicate that they have experienced some form of sexual abuse or incident by an adult before the age of 15, which corresponds to about 21 million women in the EU
  • 53% of all women in the EU avoid certain situations or places, at least sometimes, for fear of being physically or sexually assaulted
  • UK reports the 5th highest incidence of sexual and physical violence to women (44%)

Violence Against Women Survey (EU Agency for Fundamental Rights)

Sexual violence in the UK

  • According to the Ministry of Justice, Home Office & Office of National Statistics (Jan. 2013):
  • On average, 2.5% of females (approx. 404,000) and 0.4% of males (approx. 72,000) are victims of sexual offences (including attempts) on average per year
  • 85,000 females & 12,000 males report being victims of rape or sexual assault by penetration, on average, each year
  • Around 1in 20 females (aged 16 to 59) reported being a victim of a most serious sexual offence since the age of 16
  • Extending this to include other sexual offences such as sexual threats, unwanted touching or indecent exposure, this increased to 1in 5 females reporting being a victim since the age of 16
  • Around 90% of victims of the most serious sexual offences in the previous year knew the perpetrator
  • Only 15% of female victims of rape and/or sexual assault offences said that they had reported the crime to the police
  • Females aged between 16 and 19 were at the highest risk of being a victim of a sexual offence (8.2%) and as age increased the risk of victimisation reduced.

Support Services

We also want to ensure that you can access specialist support services should you wish to do so, before, during or after the research.

NWG Network is a central partner and has a great deal of experience working with, and advocating for, victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. It has a range of expertise to draw upon as well as a very strong network of specialist organisations that offer crucial support services in this area.

In addition, each partner organisation is also partnered by a victim-support organisation in their own country. Further details of this can be accessed via the individual lead researcher for each partner (see Information > Research Team).

Educational resources

Content coming soon…

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