UN Report Shows One In Ten Girls Sexually Abused Before 20

Sexual Abuse Is Most Commonly Committed By Individuals Trusted By Victims


A new report published by the UN has revealed that 120 million girls around the world have been sexually assaulted or raped by the time they reach the age of 20.

The data was gathered from 190 nations around the world and showed that the most common perpetrators of sexual abuse and violence against girls are former or current boyfriends, husbands or partners.

It was discovered that boys also suffer sexual violence, but to a lesser extent, and the report indicated the most common form of sexual violence for both genders is cyber-victimisation.

Unicef executive director Anthony Lake said that sexual abuse and violence cuts across all forms of religion, ethnicity, geography, age and income brackets and often occurs in places where children and young people should be safe, such as their own homes, schools and communities.

He added: “Increasingly, it happens over the internet, and it's perpetrated by family members and teachers, neighbours and strangers and other children.”

The report also indicates the levels of violence committed towards children and young people in care, with the statistics showing that 6 in 10 children aged between 2 and 14 had been subjected to physical punishment by carers.

Expert Opinion
Recent scandals have brought sexual offences and abuse to the public’s attention, due to the high-profile nature of those involved and the large scale of the offences committed. However, it is important to remember that many people are abused by people they trust and by those who hold positions of responsibility within their local communities.

“It is vital steps are taken to improve the way sexual abuse allegations are handled and resolved and that victims are reassured their complaints will be treated with the seriousness and sensitivity they require.

“Ensuring help and support is in place for those who have suffered abuse is crucial, as the psychological and physical impact of sexual abuse can affect victims for the rest of their lives.”
Tom Fletcher, Associate