Published time: 5 Aug, 2016 15:27
Up to six million adults in the UK say they suffered emotional, physical or sexual abuse as children, a new study has found.
The crime survey study of England and Wales carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that up to half a million adult women and 100,000 adult males had been raped.
Of those individuals 33,000 had been victims of rape or attempted rape before the age of nine, the figures indicate. It was the first time a question on abuse had been included in the survey.
There also appeared to be a class dynamic at play with sexual abuse more likely to have been a feature in the childhoods of middle class professionals.
Working class people, it was found, were more likely to have suffered physical or psychological abuse.
For those who had suffered sexual abuse it was most likely that it had been inflicted by family members, acquaintances or people otherwise known to them.
Three out of every four victims of sexual violence said they had not reported the abuse for fear of embarrassment.
“We as a society are not acknowledging these levels of sexual abuse. We do not talk about the sexual abuse of half a million women who were children when they were victims of rape or attempted rape,” clinical psychologist Dr Elly Hanson told the Times.
“We need to acknowledge it and tackle it head on,” she added.
Hanson also said that the long-term implications of abuse must be kept in mind.
“Child abuse is the hidden major contributor to a host of societal problems including substance abuse, self-harm and suicidality, mental health and anxiety problems,” she said.
A spokesperson for the NSPCC told the paper: “Including historic abuse for the first time in ONS figures confirms the horrifying fact that a vast number of adults were abused as children. The survey is an important step towards gauging the true level of child abuse.”
ABUSE DURING CHILDHOOD SURVEY
To read in full… Download as PDF
Some 11% of women and 3% of men in said they were abused by a friend or parent
One in every 14 adults experienced child abuse when they were a child
A harrowing study reveals one in 14 adults is living with the trauma of being sexually abused as a child.
Some 11% of women and 3% of men in said they were abu
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said of the figures: “The sheer scale of those who reported witnessing or being abused as children is utterly staggering.”
Three in four victims said they did not report what happened at the time, fearing “embarrassment or humiliation, or thinking that they would not be believed” – highlighted by the case of vile child sex predator Jimmy Savile .
According to the Crime Survey for England and Wales released a total of 567,000 women and 102,000 men aged between 16 and 59 suffered serious sexual assault including rape as
The NSPCC said it “confirms the horrifying fact that a vast number of adults were abused as children and told no one about the ordeal they suffered”.
Boys were most likely to be abused aged 11 (42%), while it was 14 (33%) for girls
Most rape victims said they had been targeted by a friend or acquaintance (30%) or family member (26%).
Apart from sexual abuse, 9% of those who took part said they had suffered psychological abuse and 7% physical abuse.
Some 8% said they had witnessed domestic abuse.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Child Protection Simon Bailey said: “We will keep encouraging those who have been the victim to report it to us in the knowledge that they will be listened to, believed and an impartial investigation launched. By the time a victim reports child abuse it is too late – the damage has been done. It is vital we work together to spot the signs and prevent the children of today becoming the victims of tomorrow.” mirror
HORRIFIC: Nearly 700,000 aged between 16 and 59 said they had been raped
The Crime Survey for England and Wales found an average of 7% had been sexually abused
Some 11% of women and 3% of men in England and Wales said they had suffered some sort of sexual violence in their childhood with 75% not reporting the attack.
Girls were most likely to be abused at the age of 14,
while boys were most often targeted when they were just 11. Nearly one in 10 also revealed they had witnessed some form of domestic abuse while growing up.The shock findings came after the Office for National Statistics introduced questions about childhood abuse in this year’s survey.