Research shows growth of child sex abuse in UK
A new survey shows recorded child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom surged by more than 30 percent in 2015.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), using data in every UK police force, said more than 45,450 children were the victims out of child sex abuse last year.
80 percent of the kids were girls. 2,400 of the cases were aged five or under.
Police say the rise is being pushed by predators searching online for victims.
According to the NSPCC, which used Freedom of Information laws, nearly 11,000 victims were under 10-years-old.
Chief constable Simon Bailey, who is in charge of combating child sexual abuse in England and Wales, told the Guardian that the surge was a result of increasing attacks on children.
“We are seeing exponential increases in the reporting of abuse year-on-year … Do I think there are more people with the sexual interest in children in the population? Probably not,” said Baily.
“What there is, is a greater ability for them to fulfill the desires. Technology has opened up new opportunities for people to do that.”
The official said the Internet provided new opportunities for predators, including to groom children, view indecent images and even to watch and direct the live sexual abuse of children.
Back in 1990, it was estimated that there were some 7,000 indecent images of children in Britain while now the estimate is that there are 100 million indecent photos of kids in circulation there.
The NSPCC’s figures show there were 32,675 sexual attacks or assaults on girls, compared with 8,387 on boys, meaning young females were four times more likely to be victims.
The NSPCC’s chief executive, Peter Wanless, has said, “This dramatic rise is deeply worrying and shows just how extensive this appalling crime has become, claiming many victims every day, every hour. Sexual abuse can shatter a child’s mental health. It can leave them anxious, depressed and even suicidal. That is why it is crucial every single child who has endured abuse [receives] support.”
This is while campaigners and police estimate only one in eight sexual attacks on a child is reported.