Child abuse – facts and statistics

The true extent of child abuse in the UK is unknown, in the main due to the difficulty survivors have in speaking about their suffering. It is usual for a person to take many years to first disclose abuse suffered in childhood, and it is believed that many people are never able to discuss it.

What is clear, however, is that incidences of childhood abuse are far too frequent in the UK – there were more than 56,000 children on the child protection register, or subject to a child protection plan, as of March 2014.

Survivors can carry the effects of the childhood abuse with them for many years, and it can affect other parts of their life as they grow.

Our specialist team at Bolt Burdon Kemp understand that each survivor is an individual with very different needs. We know how painful it can be to speak about what happened to you or your family member and we will ensure that you get all the support you need. We usually work on a no-win, no-fee basis, so call us today.

Child abuse in the UK

  • Over 50,000 children in the UK have been identified as needing protection from abuse
  • Both males and females can be abused, although more girls call Childline than boys. Both males and females can be abusers
  • It’s not just adults that abuse children: 65.9% of the contact sexual abuse reported by children and young people was perpetrated by other children and young people
  • A child is usually abused by someone they know or trust, such as a teacher, Scout leader, someone from church, or at home. Over 90% of sexually abused children are abused by someone they know
  • An abuser will try many tactics to keep their victim silent, such as giving gifts, threatening or blackmailing them and also playing on their fear, embarrassment or guilt about the abuse
  • There has been a 60% increase in child sexual abuse reported to the police in England and Wales in the past four years. But arrests for child abuse offences have fallen 9%
  • Over 23,000 sexual offences against children were recorded in the UK last year, of which over 5,500 were against children under 11
  • Neglect effects up to 1 in 10 children in the UK – or more than one child on every street in the country
  • 73% of UK children know another child who is suffering from neglect
  • Neglect is the most frequent reason for a child protection referral to social services and emotional abuse is second
  • One in 14 children have experienced emotional abuse by a parent or guardian
  • Research by the NSPCC found that “all forms of abuse in childhood were generally associated with poorer mental health and elevated delinquent behaviour”. This can include suicidal thoughts and self-harm
  • Sexual exploitation among gangs has been prevalent in the UK. South Yorkshire has recorded a 577% increase in reports of abuse following the Scandal in Rotherham. Gangs have also been uncovered in Oldham, Rochdale and Derby
  • Over 6,800 children were identified as needing protection from physical abuse last year
  • 1 in 14 children have been physically abused
  • It is a myth that those abused as children will become abusers as adults

For more information

Child abuse NSPCC’s 2011 report – Child abuse and neglect in the UK today

Child neglect Action for Children report – Child neglect: the scandal that never breaks

Adults who have suffered abuse as a child NAPAC

Bolt Burdon Kemp statistics

  • Bolt Burdon Kemp has been representing claimants in litigation for 30 years
  • In the last 12 months we took on 204 new cases
  • In the last 12 months we have secured £3.3 million in compensation for our clients
  • We have helped over 600 clients in child abuse compensation claims
  • In the last four years we have recovered over £5.9 million for survivors of child abuse
  • £550,000 is the largest compensation settlement we have obtained on behalf of a survivor of child abuse

If you or a family member has been affected by child abuse, get in touch with us now to talk to one or our sympathetic and professional solicitors.

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