Children with hoolahoopsKids blowing bubblesChild abuse knows no barriers—not race, religion, income or geography

  • 90% of the time, a child is sexually abused by someone they know, love, and trust, which includes parents, relatives, family friends, coaches, day care workers. The vast majority of perpetrators of all types of abuse were parents (80%), including birth parents, adoptive parents and stepparents. (1)

1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. (2)

  • Children who are abused or neglected are 50% more likely to be arrested while a juvenile, 40% more likely to be arrested for a violent crime as an adult, and 33% more likely to abuse drugs. (3)
  • A study of young adults who had been sexually abused as children found that as many as 80 percent of them suffered at least one psychiatric disorder by the age of 21—depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, bulimia and anorexia. (4)
  • There are an estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in America today. (6)
  • 30% of sexual abuse victims never disclosed their abuse. (6)


Internet Statistics:

  • Only a fraction of all inappropriate internet episodes are reported to the authorities.(7)

1 in 5 children will be solicited sexually while on the internet. (5)

  • 89% of sexual solicitations of youth are made in chat rooms
    and through instant messaging. (7)
  • 95% of parents do not know common chat room acronyms teens use online.
    Check out text messaging and online chat abbreviations (7)


Offender Statistics:

    • 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims; 20% have more than 10. (6)

A serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims
in his lifetime. (6)

  • Among the over 262,000 alleged offenders investigated for instances of child abuse in 2012, some startling statistics include:

    – 147,005 were 18+ years old

    – 25,756 were ages 13 to 17 years

    – 18,227 were under age 13 years

    – 85,699 were a parent or step-parent of the victim

    – 125,129 were related or known to the child victim in another way

    – 22,055 were an unrelated person the victim knew (6)


(1) Finkelhor, D. (1994). The international epidemiology of child sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 18, 409-417.
(2) Doll, L.S., Koenig, L.J., & Purcell, D.W. (2004). Child sexual abuse and adult sexual risk: Where are we now? In L.S. Doll, S.O. O’Leary, L.J. Koenig, & W. Pequegnat (Eds.) From child sexual abuse to adult sexual risk (pp. 3-10). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
(3) Famularo, R. et al. Child Maltreatment Histories Among Runaway and Delinquent Children. Clinical Pediatrics, 29(12):713-718. December 1990.
(4) Silverman, A. B., Reinherz, H. Z., & Giaconia, R. M. (1996). The long-term sequelae of child and adolescent abuse: A longitudinal community study. Child Abuse and Neglect, 20(8), 709-723.
(5) Online Victimization, David Finkelhor, 2000
(6) Darkness to Light 2007