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Offences against Children

Question for Home Office

UIN HL4942, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 14 May 2019 (HL Deb, col 90GC), what steps they have taken to ensure better data on the scale of child sexual abuse; and what progress they have made in establishing a national prevalence survey on child sexual abuse.

Answered on

23 June 2020

The Home Office collects and publishes data on crimes recorded by the police, including crimes related to child sexual abuse. These are published quarterly in the Office for National Statistics bulletin “Crime in England and Wales”. The latest data are available here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/bulletins/crimeinenglandandwales/yearendingdecember2019

The ONS have recently published additional statistics and commentary on child sex abuse. There are available here https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/crimeandjustice/articles/childsexualabuseinenglandandwales/yearendingmarch2019. The most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales estimates that in the year ending March 2019, approximately 3.1 million adults aged 18 to 74 years experienced child sexual abuse before the age of 16 years. This is equivalent to 7.5% of the population aged 18 to 74 years.

The ONS is currently carrying out a feasibility study to determine whether a new survey could effectively measure the current scale and nature of child abuse and neglect, including child sexual abuse. Findings from the first stage of the research are due to be published later in 2020.

Answered by

Home Office