The prevalence and impact of violence against children over the last decade have been steadily increasing. Nevertheless, there is a phenomenon to a large extent that cases of violence are undocumented and insufficiently reported, which can be attributed to various reasons. Most of the children don’t tell because they may have ambivalent feelings towards the offender, not understand that they have been abused, they feel shame or guilt, fear of the consequences or not being believed.
Some forms of violence against children are, unfortunately, socially accepted, tacitly forgiven, or not perceived as violence.
According to the global terms used by the international institutions for protecting the children, child sexual abuse has been defined as “any sexual activity between a child and closely related family member (incest) or between a child and an adult or older child from outside the family.”
Statistics & Information on the Child Sexual Abuse
The best way to stop sexual abuse is to talk about it so it is important to know some facts and to take the initiative to educate the community, your family, and yourselves.
The statistics show that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, while 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the Internet. 30% of sexual abuse is never reported and nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children age 17 and under. Around 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way, but 95% of sexual abuse is preventable through education.
When it comes to the offenders, 80-90% of them are male, while 10-20% are female. According to The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children there are nearly half a million registered sex offenders in the U.S. In 2018, the Australian Federal Police registered almost 18,000 reports of child exploitation, while that number almost doubles in 2019.
The UNICEF annual report for 2019 shows that more than 8.9 million adults and children had access to a channel to report sexual exploitation and abuse in 2019, and UNICEF supported 128 countries in 2019 to implement a range of interventions to improve children’s access to justice.
The National Sex Offenders Registry found that a typical pedophile will commit 117 sexual crimes in a lifetime.
Sexual crimes against children destroy their lives
Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter believes that sexual crimes against children are ruining their lives. He points out that almost a third of all perpetrators of child sexual abuse who have recently been on trial have not been sentenced to spend a single day behind bars, despite the fact that their crimes have lifelong consequences for their young victims and their families.
New Law for Pedophiles
Concerns about minimum sentences or non-sentencing are present among all senators and are likely to all support the new law, which provides for tougher sentences.
The law will also be backed by opposition leader Anthony Albanese, who claims his party is fighting hard against child abuse.
According to Peter Dutton, Australian Home Secretary, the efforts of the Australian Federal Police working with AUSTRAC and other institutions have intensified in uncovering criminals, who deserve to be caught and punished.
Sentences need to reflect community expectations
A new law for imprison pedophiles is set to pass federal parliament suggesting that pedophiles should receive a mandatory minimum sentence of five to seven years. The minimum sentences for offenders will be from one to four years for all Commonwealth child sex offenses.
It also aims at handling online abusers, with new offenses being set up to target the operators of the websites known to publish child sex abuse content.
According to Dutton sentences need to reflect community expectations, but they should also act as a significant deterrent to others. He states that these sorts of despicable crimes must result in significant penalties.