Statistics and Research

1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience an unwanted sexual act.

Source: Child Sexual Abuse (The Canadian Badgley Royal Commission, Report on Sexual Offences Against Children and Youths), 1984. (pg. 175)

4 out of 5 incidents of sexual abuse will occur before the age of 18.

Source: Child Sexual Abuse (The Canadian Badgley Royal Commission, Report on Sexual Offences Against Children and Youths), 1984. (pg. 175).

95 per cent of child sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator.

Source: Child Sexual Abuse (The Canadian Badgley Royal Commission, Report on Sexual Offences Against Children and Youths), 1984. (pg. 215-218).

Children and youth under 18 years of age are at greatest risk of being sexually assaulted by someone they know.

Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Catalogue No. 85-224-XIE, ISSN 1480-7165. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2007. (pg 6, 21).

While children and youth under the age of 18 represent only one-fifth or 21 per cent of the population, they were victims in 61 per cent of all sexual offences reported to police in 2002.

Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics – Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 85-002-XIE, Vol. 23. no. 6. Released July 2003. (pg. 7, 34)

In 2005, the rate of sexual assault against children and youth was over five times higher than for adults—206 children and youth victims compared to 39 adult victims for every 100,000 people.

Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Catalogue No. 85-224-XIE, ISSN 1480-7165. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2007. (pg. 20)

In 2005, girls under the age of 18 experienced rates of sexual assault that were almost four times higher than their male counterparts.

Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Catalogue No. 85-224-XIE, ISSN 1480-7165. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2007. (pg. 21).

Sexual assault against children by family members was more than three times higher for female victims than for male victims

Source: Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2007. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. Catalogue No. 85-224-XIE, ISSN 1480-7165. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 2007. (pg. 22).

54 per cent of girls under 21 have experienced sexual abuse, and 22 per cent of these female victims reported two or more sexual offences against them.

60 per cent of all reported sexual assaults are against children.

Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2001). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile 2001. Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE. Ottawa: Government of Canada (pg. 13)

Between 30 and 40 per cent of sexual assault victims are abused by a family member.

  • Non-parental relatives – 35%
  • Friends and peers – 15%
  • Stepfathers – 13%
  • Biological fathers – 9%
  • Other acquaintances – 9%
  • Boyfriend/girlfriend of biological parent – 5%
  • Biological mothers – 5%

Source: Canadian Incidence Study (CIS) of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2003: Major Findings Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. 2005. (pg.52)

Only 2 per cent of substantiated child sexual abuse cases involve a stranger.

Source: Canadian Incidence Study (CIS) of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect – 2003: Major Findings Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. 2005. (pg.52)

Child and youth victims who were sexually assaulted by family members were on average 9 years old, compared to 12 years old for victims of non-family members.

Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. (2002). Family violence in Canada: A statistical profile 2002. Catalogue no. 85-224-XIE. Ottawa: Government of Canada (pg. 35).

Of the sexual offences against children reported to police in 2003, 64 per cent occurred in a residence, 26 per cent took place in a public/open area and 11 per cent occurred in a commercial space.

Source: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics – Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 85-002-XIE, Vol. 23. no. 6. Released July 2003 (pg. 9)

A report from 2001 found that boys 4-7 years of age were three times more often the victims of sexual abuse than boys of other ages, and girls between the ages of 4-7 and 12-17 were twice as likely to be victims of sexual abuse than girls aged 0-3 and 8-11.

Source: The Juristat presents Child Maltreatment in Canada – Canadian Incidence Study of Reported Child Abuse and Neglect. Authors: Nico Trocmé and David Wolfe. Ottawa, Ontario: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2001. (pg. 24)