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Survivor Statistics

If you have been sexually abused as a child, you are not alone.

Sexual abuse statistics are one way we can develop a picture of the extent of the problem of sexual abuse or sexual assault in our community. Stats can help us to better understand what groups of people are more likely to experience assault. Also where, when, potential risk factors, where to direct resources for prevention of further abuse and assault, and to ensure adequate support is available.

The sexual abuse statistics below provide a general snapshot of the reported prevalence and identified characteristics of sexual abuse and sexual assault of males.

Male Childhood Sexual Abuse


Research suggests that:

  • Something between 1 in 6 and 1 in 10 males are sexually abused before the age of 16. [Australia]
  • By comparison 1 in 4 females are sexually abused before the age of 16. [USA]
  • Over 30% of confirmed reports of child sexual abuse involve male victims.  
  • Most sexual abuse of males begins before puberty, typically around 10 years.  
  • Boys younger than six are at greater risk of abuse by family and acquaintances. 
  • Boys older than 12 years face an increased risk of abuse by strangers.  
  • Risk of sexual assault declines for adult men relative to adult women.  
  • Threats of force and physical harm increased with age and male perpetration.  
  • The majority of males under the age of 14 who die by suicide have a history of childhood sexual abuse [NZ]
  • A significant number of male prisoners have a history of child sexual abuse [Australia]

Risk Factors

Some boys, through no fault of their own, can unfortunately be more likely to experience sexual abuse. The risk of sexual abuse is increased if a boy:  

  • Is a runaway.
  • Has a disability – between 4 and 7 times more likely to be sexually abused than a non-disabled peer.  
  • Is subjected to other forms of maltreatment in the home.
  • Comes from an impoverished and/or single-parent family.
  • Spends time in an institutional setting 
  • Same sex attracted males – prevalence of childhood sexual abuse is higher among gay and bisexual men than heterosexual men.  

While there are no typical circumstances that boys find themselves in when abused; compared to girls, boys are more likely to be:

  • Abused outside the home. 
  • Abused by a stranger.  
  • Subjected to extra familial abuse.  
  • Abused around witnesses. 
  • Abused by a female or male and female together.  
  • Abused by clergy. 
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