Child abuse & incest is on the rise in the United States, according to a new report from the Child Abuse Prevention Network (CAPN).
The organization’s research found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of reports of child abuse &incest rose by nearly 60% from 2013 to 2016.
In 2016, nearly 17 million reports of sexual abuse were made to Child Protective Services, which is a far cry from the 8 million reported in 2012.
CAPN’s research also found that the majority of children who were sexually abused by an adult were younger than age 18, which suggests that they were not in danger of becoming sexually victimized themselves.
The report further highlights that while a child who is sexually abused may have a negative outcome for the rest of their life, the risk to the perpetrator is low.
The organization notes that “child sexual abuse is rarely a lifelong experience,” and that perpetrators tend to disappear after their victim turns 18.
However, a report published in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect found that “many children who have experienced child sexual abuse may never be able to fully recover from the experience.”
The report points out that “when they do come out of the closet, the consequences for children who are sexually abused and the consequences of survivors’ lives are often quite different from the negative outcomes that many survivors experience.”
CAPN has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) to conduct research on the topic of child sexual assault.
They recently released a study that found that about 1 in 5 victims of child sex abuse have never reported the crime to law enforcement.
They also report that only a third of the perpetrators are prosecuted and that about half of the victims do not receive support services for the trauma they suffered as a result of their abuse.
CAPMEC is also the primary research organization for the National Coalition Against Sexual Exploitation.
The group also supports child-friendly clothing and toys, safe, family-friendly public schools, and child-rearing programs that offer safe environments for all children.
CAPNF’s report states that “there are still many unanswered questions about the prevalence and effects of child and teen sexual abuse in our society,” and warns that “children can be subjected to a range of forms of sexual harassment, including sexual coercion, unwanted touching, verbal abuse, and even physical abuse.”