Impact of CSA

Consequences – Individual

  • Female adult survivors of child sexual abuse are nearly three times more likely to report substance use problems.

Source: Simpson, T.L. & Miller, W.R. (2002). Concomitance between childhood sexual and physical abuse and substance use problems: A review. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 27-77.

  • Male adult CSA victims are 2.6 times more likely to report substance use problems.

Source: Simpson, T.L. & Miller, W.R. (2002). Concomitance between childhood sexual and physical abuse and substance use problems: A review. Clinical Psychology Review, 22, 27-77.

  • 60 per cent of women with panic disorder are victims of child sexual abuse.

Source: Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, 2007.

  • 76 per cent of prostitutes have a history of child sexual abuse.

Source: Health Canada, Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, Information from the National Clearinghouse on Family Violence, 1993.

  • Adult survivors of child sexual abuse have been found to display a wide range of symptomology, including low self-esteem, guilt, self-blame, social withdrawal, marital and family problems, depression, somatic complaints, difficulties with sexuality, eroticized behaviour and irrational fears.

Source: C. Cahill, S. Llewelyn & C. Pearson (1991). Longterm Effects of Sexual Abuse Which Occurred in Childhood: Review. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 30: 117-130.

  • Women who reported sexual abuse histories were more likely to report suicidal ideation at the time of hospitalization and a history of multiple suicide attempts.

Source: Preliminary Report on Childhood Sexual Abuse, Suicidal Ideation, and Suicide Attempts Among Middle-Aged and Older Depressed. Nancy Talbot, Paul Duberstein, Christopher Cox, Diane Denning, Yeates Conwell. Accepted April 8, 2003. From the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.


Consequences – Societal

Although it is not possible to measure the personal and social costs of sexual abuse and exploitation of children and youth, most people would agree they are enormous. There are also financial costs to society as a whole.

According to the Day model, which measures the judicial, social services, education, health, employment and personal costs of violence: the estimated annual cost of child sexual abuse in Canada exceeds $3.6 billion CAD. Each youth suicide costs $640,000 to $3,000,000.

Source: Hankivsky, O. (2003, forthcoming). Preliminary cost estimates of child sexual abuse Canada. Ottawa, ON: Health Canada.


Cost of child sexual abuse in Canada:

PrivatePublicTotal
Health$5,111,410$1,713,532,341$1,718,643,751
Social and public services$203,805,039$710,913,818$914,718,857
Justice$117,359,516$355,004,360$472,363,876
Education/research and employment$1,140,000$12,578,803$13,718,833
Mortality$357,879,769$118,150,783$476,030,552
Morbidity$75,864,108$25,045,852$100,909,960
TOTAL$761,159,872$2,935,225,957$3,696,385,829
Source: Audra Bowlus, Katharine McKenna, Tanis Day and David Right, The Economic Costs and Consequences of Child Abuse in Canada (Ottawa: Law Commission of Canada, 2003). Found on Department of Justice Canada Website (article titled: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Youth: A Fact Sheet from the Department of Justice Canada)

Perpetrator profiles

According to national statistics released in 1997:

  • Between 15 and 33 per cent of all sex offences in Canada were committed by persons under 21 years of age.
  • Prison statistics demonstrated that one in seven of those imprisoned for sexual offences against children were under the age of 21.

Source: Adolescent Sex Offenders. (1997) National Clearinghouse on Family Violence. Cat. H72-22/3-1997E. ISBN 0-662-18255-3. (pg. 2)

A report from the province of British Columbia published in 1994 found:

  • Some offenders had abused more than 70 children before any of the victims disclose their abuse.
  • In cases in which one offender had abused a larger number of victims, the abused children were more likely to be male.

Source: Child Youth Mental Services, British Columbia Ministry of Health, Multiple Victim Child Sexual Abuse: The impact on Communities and Implications for the Intervention Planning, Ottawa: Health Canada, Supply and Services Canada, 1994 (pg. 6)