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When it comes to teen sexual abuse, the problem is more common than one might think. While not considered terribly common, the problem is not considered uncommon. And, because less than half of sexual abuse is reported, it could be more prevalent than most people are willing to admit. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider teen sexual abuse, and how to stop it. One way is education. It is important for teens and adults to understand that sexual abuse of teenagers is wrong, and that it can encompass a variety of sex acts, and that fear, impaired judgment (due to drugs, alcohol or mental state) and coercion can lead to sexual abuse, even though the victim may not actively resist. A victim whose compliance is due to factors other than a desire to engage in sexual activity has not actually consented.

Statistics regarding teen sexual abuse

While female teenagers are more likely to be sexually abused that male teenagers, cultural, racial and economic factors do not seem to have an effect on the likelihood of becoming a victim of teen sexual abuse. Here are some teen sexual abuse statistics: 

  • 1 in 4 girls (25%) are sexually abused by the age of 18. 
  • 1 in 6 boys (17%) are sexually abused by the age of 18. 
  • Most teen sexual abuse victims (7 in 10, or 70%) know their abuser. It is generally a family member, or someone close to the family. 
  • Of female Americans who are raped, 54 percent of them experience this type of sexual abuse for the first time before they are 18. 
  • A victim of one incident of teen sexual abuse is likely to experience further sexual abuse. 
  • Teenagers account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse 
  • Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 are 3.5 times more likely than the general public to be victims of sexual abuse. 
  • 69% of the incidences of teen sexual abuse occur in a residence. 
  • 23% of all sexual offenders are under the age of 18 
  • Female victims of teen sexual abuse while in grades 9 through 12 are more likely than others to experience eating disorders, suicidal behavior, pregnancy and risky sexual behaviors.

Statistics regarding the report and prosecution of teen sexual abuse

Only about 31% of teen sexual abuse incidents are reported. Social stigma, fear of retribution and the trauma of not being believed stymie reports of teen sexual abuse. Additionally, the low probability of an arrest or substantial prison sentence for the perpetrator can cause reluctance on the part of teen sexual abuse victims to report. Here are teen sexual abuse reporting and prosecution statistics: 

  • When sexual abuse is reported, the probability that an arrest will be made is 50.8%. 
  • When teen sexual abuse does occur, the overall probability that the perpetrator will be sent to prison is 16.3%. - The average sentence for the perpetrator of a teen sexual abuse crime is 128 days. 
  • Of men incarcerated for rape, a form of sexual abuse, 80% of them reported that their victims were under the age of 18.

Sexual Abuse Statistics Main source material:

  • "Statistics," Sexual Violence. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. [Online.]
 Sexual Abuse Statistics: Related Pages
  • What is Sexual Abuse?
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