Our report compiles and analyses the most robust and up-to-date child protection data that exists across the 4 nations in the UK for 2015.
The report sets out 20 different indicators. Each indicator looks at the question of ‘how safe are our children?’ from a different perspective. They also include historic data, to help track progress over time.
Authors: Sonja Jutte, Holly Bentley, Dan Tallis, Julia Mayes, Natasha Jetha, Orla O’Hagan, Helen Brookes, Nicola McConnell
- All 4 countries in the UK have seen the number of recorded sexual offences against children increase over the last year.
- There’s been an increase in contacts to the NSPCC helpline and ChildLine about sexual abuse.
- Neglect remains the most common form of child abuse in the UK.
- The number of children dying as a result of homicide or assault remains in long term decline.
Statistics on child abuse
How many children are abused or neglected in the UK
We don’t know exactly how many children in the UK are victims of child abuse. Child abuse is usually hidden from view and children may be too young, too scared or too ashamed to tell anyone about what is happening to them.
However, there are a number of different sources of information, including official government statistics and academic research. These give us an indication of the number of children who are affected by abuse.
There are currently identified as needing protection from abuse in the UK
Source: Child protection register and plan statistics for all UK nations for 2014.
Explanation: There were 56,231 children in the UK on child protection registers or the subject of child protection plans on 31 March 2014 (or 31 July 2014 in Scotland). This is based on figures from each UK nation.
See our summary of child protection register statistics in the UK (PDF).
Over talked to ChildLine about abuse last year
Explanation: In 2014/15 ChildLine carried out 29,126 counselling sessions with children and young people about some form of abuse.
To find out more see our most recent ChildLine annual report
We estimate that for every child identified as needing protection from abuse,
Explanation: For every child placed on a child protection plan or the child protection register, we estimate there are another 8 children who are suffering from abuse and neglect and not getting the support they need.
Our calculation is based on the proportion of children who experienced maltreatment at the hands of their parents/carers in the previous year identified through research compared with the number of children who are on a child protection plan or the child protection register. To find out more see our annual report
- Research and resources
- 2016 research reports
- 2015 research reports
- 2014 research reports
- 2013 research reports
Sexual abuse Facts and statistics
Official statistics, published annually, show the amount of child sexual abuse recorded by authorities in the year. The problem is much bigger than shown in official statistics, as most crimes are not disclosed and/or reported.
Most sexual abuse isn’t reported, detected or prosecuted. Most children don’t tell anyone that they’re being sexually abused. It’s a crime that is usually only witnessed by the abuser and the victim.