Key facts and figures

The following data can only hint at the number of adults who suffered abuse during their childhood and the impact it has had on lives.


For more information, call our office number from 9am-5pm on

0207 614 1801

The data behind child abuse

Most sexual abuse isn’t reported, detected or prosecuted. It’s a crime that is usually only witnessed by the abuser and the victim.


More than one in ten women and 3% of men in England & Wales were sexually assaulted during childhood. (ONS Crime Survey for England + Wales, March 2016)

9% of adults have experienced psychological abuse, 7% physical abuse, 7% sexual assault and 8% witnessed domestic violence or abuse in the home, during childhood. (ONS Crime Survey for England + Wales, March 2016)

3% of women and 1% of men suffered sexual assault by rape or penetration (including attempts) during childhood. (ONS Crime Survey for England + Wales, March 2016)

It is estimated that only one in eight victims of sexual abuse come to the attention of statutory authorities (Children’s Commissioner 2015).


One in three children sexually abused by an adult did not tell anyone (Radford, 2011).

Some children did disclose abuse when still young but were not heard or no action was taken (Allnock and Miller, 2013; Lampard and Marsden, 2015).


Over 90% of sexually abused children were abused by someone they knew (Radford, 2011).

There are an estimated minimum of 11 million adult survivors of contact and non-contact child sexual abuse in the UK (Radford et al).

NAPAC receives hundreds of contacts per week from adult survivors of child abuse.

Child sexual abuse costs the UK £3.2bn a year (Radford)


ONS (Office of National Statistics) Abuse during childhood: Findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales, year ending March 2016 crime survey.
ONS Crime Survey, March 2016

Radford, L. et al (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today NSPCC

Sneddon, H., Wager, N., Allnock, D. Responding sensitively to survivors of childhood abuse University of Bedfordshire with Victim Support, April 2016.

Allnock, D and Miller, P. (2013) No one noticed, no one heard NSPCC

Lampard, K. and Marsden, E. (2015) Themes and lessons learned from NHS investigations into matters relating to Jimmy Savile Independent report for the Secretary of State for Health

Children’s Commissioner (November 2015) Protecting children from harm: a critical assessment of child sexual abuse in the family network in England and priorities for action

Ainscough, C. and Toon, K. (2000) Breaking Free Workbook – Practical help for survivors of child sexual abuse Sheldon Press, London.  (For suggestions of individual and group exercises).

Gilbert, P. and Proctor, S. Compassionate Mind Training for People with High Shame and Self Criticism: Overview and Pilot Study of a Group Therapy Approach in Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy 13, 353-379 (2006) Wiley (free to download at )

Herman, J.L. (1992) Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence. New York, Basic Books

Mendelsohn, M.  et al, (2011) The Trauma Recovery Group: A Guide for Practitioners, New York, The Guildford Press

van der Kolk, B. (2014) The Body Keeps the Score, Penguin Books

Winnicott, D.W (2000, first published in 1964) The Child, the Family and the Outside World  Penguin Psychology


NAPAC faces significant and growing demand for its services to survivors – donating to NAPAC means reaching more survivors with the help and support they need.

Personal Info

Donation Total: £10

Download our free resources


Was it really abuse?

It wasn't your fault

Share This