One-in-14 adults in England and Wales sexually abused as a child

One in every 14 adults in England and Wales was sexually abused as a child, according to the first research of its kind.

Some 11% of women and 3% of men — an average of 7% — said they were sexually assaulted during their childhood, according to the Crime Survey for England and Wales.

The findings also suggested that 567,000 adult women aged between 16 and 59, and 102,000 men in the same age bracket, suffered “sexual assault by rape or penetration” as minors.

The findings came after the Office for National Statistics (ONS) introduced new questions about childhood abuse in the survey for 2016, released yesterday.

John Flatley, from the ONS’s crime statistics and analysis department, said: “Police forces have been dealing with a growing number of reports of child abuse in recent years.

“Many of these have been historical cases reported by adults many years after the event. These new ONS estimates, based on asking adults to recall abuse experienced during their childhood, provide a more comprehensive picture than has previously been available.”

Some 9% of adults in the survey said they had suffered psychological abuse and 7% physical abuse.


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