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How Many Women Abuse Children?

View profile for Malcolm Underhill
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Over many years I have been pursuing men and women, to obtain child abuse compensation and justice for their victims.

From my direct experience of helping those assaulted, and from a convicted sex offenders list, which I have compiled from media reports, it is clear that the majority of child sexual offenders are men.  The exact percentage split between men and women, who sexually abuse children, is unknown. However, it is said that figures reported on the BBC Radio 4 File on 4 programme, as to the number of female sexual abusers were the “tip of the iceberg”.

What are the statistics for female child sexual abuse?

The radio programme reported that between 2015 and 2019, the number of reported cases to the police, of females sexually abusing children rose from 1,249 two 2,297, representing an increase of 84%.

In 2018, 5,547 offenders were found guilty of child sexual abuse in England and Wales, according to the Ministry of Justice. Only 66 of those convictions were against women who sexually abused children.

In 2018-19, according to the Office of National statistics, 3.8% of all child sexual abusers were female. This was based on reports made to the police.

Of 16% of children abused in residential care, and 6% of children abused in other environments, such as schools, sports and a religious setting, it was reported that female abusers were involved.

Dr Andrea Darling, a criminology researcher at Durham University has commented on the figures from File on 4.  She has considered 40 cases of male and female teachers who have sexually assaulted their pupils. She said that the figures from the radio programme were the "tip of the iceberg".

She said there was a "lack of understanding" of the level of female perpetrated abuse. She went on to say that it was "fundamentally important" to understand a lot more about this kind of child sexual abuse.

I won’t be believed

In my experience, many victim survivors delay reporting the abuse they have suffered, because they do not think they will be believed. Indeed, child sexual abusers rely upon this fear, often telling the victim that they will not be believed, making them feel that they are in a hopeless position, one they cannot escape from.   However, times have changed from decades ago. The reality is that a child will be believed. If a child reports allegations of sexual abuse they will be given support and their allegations investigated. It is important for victim survivors of sexual abuse to note that there is help, that they will be believed and there is an escape route from the abuse.

New strategies to tackle child sexual abuse

in January 2021 the Home Secretary launched a new strategy to protect children from all types of child sexual abuse. There are various strings to the strategy, including investment in child abuse images database, to help identify and track down offenders, quicker, to enable parents and carers to ask if someone has a criminal record; to make the technology giants accountable for material on their websites; and to introduce tougher sentences for sexual offenders.

Contact our Child Sexual Abuse Lawyers today

Contact our no win, no fee child abuse solicitors now, for advice on how to make a claim for the harm caused by abuse, including strangulation, or to simply consider what options and possibilities are available, without any obligation. Call us today on 0333 123 9099, email or fill in our online form.

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