Child-on-child sex abuse cases DOUBLE in just two years: Almost 16,000 cases where accused and victim were both under 18 were reported in 12 months, BBC probe finds
Reports of child-on-child sexual abuse doubled in two years, it was revealed last night.
Police figures show that 7,866 cases of sexual abuse – where both the alleged perpetrator and victim were under 18 – were reported between April 2016 and March 2017.
Two years later, between 2018 and 2019, the number had more than doubled to 16,102. In 2019 to 2020, there were 14,915 cases.
Reports of child-on-child sexual abuse doubled in two years, it was revealed last night, as numbers rose from 7,866 cases between 2016 and 2017 to 16,102 between 2018 and 2019 (stock image)
In response to Freedom of Information requests made by the BBC’s Panorama programme, 34 out of 43 police forces responded.
They were asked for the number of sexual offences reports, including rape and sexual assault, where both parties were under 18.
The figures did not include the online offence of non-consensual sharing of private sexual images or video.
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In about 10 per cent of cases, the alleged perpetrator was aged ten or under. Around nine out of ten alleged abusers were boys, while eight out of ten alleged victims were girls.
There were 10,861 reports of abuse made in the latest full year of data – 2020 to 2021. This comes in a year of lockdown and months of school closures across the UK.
It came as a website called Everyone’s Invited, which was set up for survivors to anonymously share their experience of sexual assault or abuse at school or university, said it had collected more than 50,000 testimonies of abuse.
Around nine out of ten alleged abusers were boys, while eight out of ten alleged victims were girls (stock image)
The website was set up by Soma Sara after she shared her personal account of rape culture on Instagram, and was inundated with people telling her their stories.
Miss Sara said: ‘It was just the reality of myself and my peers growing up.
‘We were experiencing this on a daily basis. And these incidents didn’t feel rare or one-offs.
‘It felt like it was very much entrenched in our daily lives and our lived experiences throughout our teenage years.’
- Panorama: Who’s Protecting Our Kids? airs tonight on BBC1 at 7.35pm.