Sex Crimes Against Young Children Rise: New research suggests that sex crimes against young children are rising in number. In this research, the definition of young children was those under the age of 11 – sex crimes against children in this age category increased 16% last year in England and Wales, says the NSPCC children’s charity. In real terms, the number of reported incidents rose from 4,772 to 5,547. These figures are according to data gained from 41 police forces around the countries in question.
This data means that a quarter (24%) of all recorded sex offences take place against those in the youngest age bracket – with some victims being only one year old at the time of the incident. The charity stated that almost half (46%) of parents had no tackled the issue in question.
The NSPCC has suggested that the large rise in the number of incidents could be due to an increased number of individuals coming forward and reporting abuse – particularly following increased awareness of the issues in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal. However, the overall figures for under-age sex abuse remained stable last year in comparison to the previous one – a total of 22,654 sexual offences against under-18s were reported to police. Within this, nearly 80% (17,354) of cases involved girls.
The majority of offences committed against under-age children were against those of secondary school age. Offences include rape, sexual assault, abuse through pornography and grooming.
In response to the findings, the NSPCC wants parents to teach their children five key basic points in an effort to educate young people about sexual abuse. The points include:
- Privates are private
- Always remember your body belongs to you
- No means no
- Talk about secrets that upset you
- Speak up – someone can help
Talking about the findings, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, Peter Wanless, said:
“Sexual abuse continues to be a terrible scar on our society…parents and carers can play an important role by ensuring their children are armed with the knowledge to recognise the wrong kind of behaviour and keep themselves safe.”
This data comes in the wake of calls by several high-profile individuals to enforce mandatory reporting of sexual abuse concerns by teachers and education professionals working with children in schools. Similar laws are already in place in countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia.
Due to the sensitive nature of this subject matter we would like to advise anyone with any further concerns, issues or questions to contact the NSPCC through their website: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/
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