Study Sheds New Light On Prevalance Of Female Sex Offending Against Children

Posted by on Apr 7, 2012 in feature, Women Behaving Badly | No Comments

Study Sheds New Light On Prevalance Of Female Sex Offending Against Children

New research undertaken by Child Wise, a leading Child Protection Agency working in Australia and overseas to prevent the sexual abuse of children revealed new statistics on the prevalence of female perpetrated child sexual abuse. Recent media coverage highlights the number of females in a position of authority who have sexually abused children and young people in their care. This research was undertaken to determine how much child sexual abuse is perpetrated by women in childrens organisations. Organisation is used as a generic term to include a range of childrens organisations such as child care, health or welfare agencies, schools, sporting groups, kindergartens children and youth groups babysitters and nannies.

Key Findings include:

  • In Australia females perpetrate up to 6% of all reported sexual abuse of children
  • Up to 30% of female perpetrated child sexual abuse occurs in an organisational setting: primarily whilst babysitting
  • Less than 2% of cases involving female perpetrators of child sexual abuse reported to police result in imprisonment, compared to 16.5% of cases involving men
  • Data from South Australia and Victoria reveals female juvenile offenders sexually abused at least double the number of female victims compared to male victims
  • Findings for adult female child sexual abuse perpetrators selection of male and female victims     remain conflicting
  • Females can and do perpetrate child sexual abuse alone, without coercion and may have multiple victims.

Karen Flanagan, National Program Manager for Child Wise said
There are many myths that women, due to their role as nurturers are not capable of sexually abusing children unless they are coerced by a male partner.This research revealed the majority of females sexually abused children alone without coercion. Women are more likely to remain undetected and much less likely to be charged legally.

Community attitudes minimise the prevalence and impact of female perpetrated child sexual abuse which means it will continue to remain undetected. Organisations who look after children in any capacity have a duty of care to ensure they assess and screen all staff and volunteers working with children, not just men. Child Wise does not wish to alarm parents unnecessarily, We are using this information to educate and inform parents and anyone working with children. Ultimately we wish to protect children. We cannot assume that female dominated caring industries are exempt from the possibility of child sexual abuse.

For more information please contact Karen Flanagan on 96458911 or 0408008853

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