Are Child Molestation Statistics Accurate
Is Molestation Really on the Increase?
There are many people absorbed with statistics, however we need to ask ourselves;
Are child molestation statistics giving us an accurate reading? Is this problem really going on more than ever? Many will say it is. But are they right? Let's have a look.
Secrecy of This Crime
To start with this abuse is a crime, punishable by prison. Children are coached very carefully that speaking out about their abuse will result in punishment for either the child or the predator.
This makes the crime under reported. In order to compensate, the numbers are exaggerated. Whilst this may possibly give you a rough idea, it is far from accurate. The statistics by no means tell you how many children are being abused, it is mostly guesswork. (Age is also a contributory factor, discussed below.)
In incest situations, studies show that the majority of abuse is not by father, but by siblings. Due to under reporting it is hard to know whether this hypothesis is correct.
Other Contributing Facts
You can't read the news without hearing of another incident of child sex abuse. We are continually hearing of abusers being caught.
Years previously, if a case did come to light it was very rarely reported by the media. Now they are continually reporting it. This is also due to the western governments having an apparent blitz on peodophilia and child abuse, This too is bringing it to peoples attention.
Now it's out in the open, everyone talks about it. There are now molestation attorneys, something you never realized existed 20-30 years ago.
Decades ago, even just 20 years ago child sex abuse was not something talked about. In fact it was something that was pushed under the carpet and never acknowledged. It still happened, and there was plenty of it. Problem is these days everybody from politicians to molestation centers, etc are pulling up statistics to "prove" their point. (These statistics are also for the most part years old.)
You will have noticed that many adults who were molested as children, are coming forward to tell their story. Some are seeking justice by finding a molestation attorney who will try the case for them and have their abuser brought to justice. This also makes it news worthy.
School teachers from 30 years ago are now being brought to justice for molesting children. Children who are now adults seeking their own justice.
There are constant reports of priests being accused of this crime against children, (particularly boys) from decades ago. These abuse victims are now coming forward. People are not feeling the need to keep their story quiet any longer. If the church leaders knew about the abuse, it was hidden, many times moving the priest to another area.
There are also the new cases which are constantly being brought out into the open. More victims are seeking justice through the courts, and more abusers are being brought up on molestation charges.
The Catholic Church covering up sexual abuse is far from being the only one. There are many of them. Jehovah's Witnesses and Child Sex Abuse are a prime example. Court cases having been brought against them in the last decade for their coverups. It still goes on.
So these figures also are under reported, making guesswork come into play once again for the statistics.
The Effects of False Charges on Statistics
Unfortunately, you will also hear of cases where someone is being falsely accused, many times a bitter divorce case. Other times you will hear of false charges against teachers, or child care workers. When this happens, an innocent person becomes a victim as his/her life will be forever marred. People will always look at them and wonder. Guilty before innocent.
This makes it hard for those genuine cases, as some will look on and wonder if they may be making the story up for their own gains. There are however, very few cases where a child will lie about molestation of their own volition. There are parents however who can persuade them to lie for great gains or other reasons.
When these cases are included into statistics, how accurate are they?
The Age of Consent Has A Bearing On Statistics
There are countries where adults marry children, and see nothing wrong with it. This being their custom. This also happens in western countries.
For instance, there is a certain province in Canada where marriageable age is 14 years with judicial consent. In New Hampshire it is 14 for males and 13 for females, in cases of "special cause"; with parental consent and court permission. New York is 14 with parental and judicial consent, Texas is 14 with judicial consent. Iran is 15 for male, 13 for female. ¹
Over the years the marriageable age has increased in many countries.
So statistics for molestation will change depending on what figures are actually used.
So are there more child molestation cases now than a few decades ago? No, it was just as rife 30 years ago as it is now. Except back then the abusers were very rarely brought to justice.
Jane M. Rudd; Sharon D. Herzberger (September 1999). "Brother-sister incest father-daughter incest: a comparison of characteristics and consequences". Child Abuse & Neglect 23 (9): 915-928. doi:10.1016/S0145-2134(99)00058-7
Bonnie E. Carlson, PhD (December, 2006). "Sibling Incest: Reports from Forty-One Survivors", Journal of Child Sexual Abuse: Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2006, Pages 19-34.