I’m pretty sure I’ve posted on this exact subject before but more reports have recently come out that bring me back to it again…

From One in 10 children suffer abuse, say experts comes the statistics that:

  • 1 in 10 suffers physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect.
  • "The unseen sufferings of an estimated 1 million children a year in the UK."
  • Between 4 and 16% of children suffer physical abuse, such as hitting, punching, beating and burning, according to a paper by Ruth Gilbert and colleagues from University College London’s Institute of Child Health.
  • Some 5-10% of girls and 1-5% of boys have been subjected to penetrative sex, usually by a family friend or relative.
  • If sexual abuse is defined more widely – as anything from being shown pornographic magazines to rape – it is estimated that it will include at least 15% of girls and 5% of boys.
  • Around 10% of children suffer emotional abuse every year, the paper says, which includes persistently being made to feel worthless, unwanted or scared.
  • More still – up to 15% a year – suffer neglect, defined as the failure of their parents or carers to meet the child’s basic emotional or physical needs or ensure their safety.

Meanwhile from A quarter of 14-year-olds forced into sex :

  • Nearly a quarter of 14-year-olds have been forced to have sex or do something sexual they did not want to do.
  • 1 in four 16-year-olds have been hit or hurt in some way by someone they were dating, according to a survey of teenagers.
  • Over half of 14- and 15-year-olds have been humiliated in front of others by someone they were seeing.

Now, these kind of stats always bring me back to the same question. Which is it? That almost 1 in 4 people I’ve known who have been subject to  abuse just never discuss it (baring in mind that I used to have an active social circle of over 100 people)? Or is it just that the sort of people I’m likely to interact with aren’t the unfortunate kids to which all this horrificness is happening? Or is it just more likely that these stats are exageragted?

Probably all of the above.