Bureau of Justice Statistics

September 22, 2009

U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics

Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement: Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics
-a Statistical Report (PDF)

Sexual Assault of Young Children as Reported to Law Enforcement:
Victim, Incident, and Offender Characteristics
by Howard N. Snyder, Ph.D.
National Center for Juvenile Justice
July 2000, NCJ 182990

A Statistical Report using data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System
This work was supported in part by a grant from the American Statistical Association with funds
provided by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Excerpt from Conclusions:

Nearly 5 of every 6 sexual assaults of young juveniles occurred in a residence. Crimes against older juveniles and, especially, adult victims were far more likely to occur in other places.

Adults were the offenders in 60% of the sexual assaults of youth under age 12. Rarely were the offenders of young juvenile victims strangers. Strangers were the offenders in just 3% of sexual assaults against victims under age 6 and 5% of the sexual assault victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11. Sexual assaults of children under the age of 6 were the least likely of all such crimes to result in arrest or be otherwise cleared. The NIBRS data indicate that law enforcement identified the offender in just a third (34%) of the sexual assaults of children under age 6 and nearly half (45%) of the victimizations of youth ages 6 through 11.

See tables from this report by clicking on thumbnails below:

Offender Probabilities (note: probabilities of a stranger assaulting a child are extremely low compared with family and acquaintances)

Victim-Offender Relationships (note: family member and acquaintances account for 93% of juvenile offenses)

Age Profile of Offenders (note: the highest rate of offenders are just children themselves, 14-18 yrs, of age)

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