The Statistics.

Statistics of sexual abuse are not reliable because people are usually too ashamed to talk openly about it. The latest statistics report that one out of every four girls experiences some form of sexual abuse by the time she is 18 years old.

Approximately one third of all sexual abuse cases involve children under the age of six. However, these statistics are based on the hard evidence that is reported when physical symptoms become apparent to a pediatrician. What is not known is how many unreported cases of child sexual abuse there are. A recent poll said that 28% of 1,200 college age women surveyed had sex with an adult before age 13, but out of these numbers only 6%, or 72 of these women reported their abuse.

Here in America, 29% of all rapes occurred when the victim was less than 11 years old. Another 32% occurred between ages 11 and 17. The American Psychological Association estimates that in regards to incest cases 25% involve fathers and daughters, another 25% involve stepfathers and stepdaughters and the remaining 50% involve adoptive fathers, grandfathers, brothers, half-brothers, uncles and cousins.

The statistics are difficult to determine because sexual abuse and incest are still hidden to a great extent in our society. Most cases are never reported. Boys are also survivors of all forms of sexual abuse too, but those statistics are even harder to come by because of the intense shame most boys feel when it comes to admitting to sexual abuse.

The Law.

"When we went to court and I had to testify against my father, the most painful part to me, was that my mother sat with him in the court and held his hand. I felt like they both abused me." ...............a 17 year old survivor of incest.

All sexual abuse against someone under the age of 18 is against the law. The penalties vary from state to state. The laws are getting better about punishing perpetrators, yet they still have a long way to go. For more info go to:

Child Abuse Legislation