UK: Children Committing Half of Child Abuse Cases, Says Report

    UK: Children Committing Half of Child Abuse Cases, Says Report
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    The Facts

    • According to a report published by the UK's National Police Chiefs' Council, more than half of all child sexual abuse offenses recorded in 2022 were committed by children aged under 18.

    • The data claims that out of the nearly 107K child abuse cases reported in 2022 in England and Wales, 52% of the offenders were aged between 10 and 17.

    The Spin

    Narrative A

    It's alarming that children are perpetrating sexual violence against children, and the problem is likely much worse than this report details. One in six girls and one in 20 boys are sexually abused as minors, and authorities say that many cases are never reported. More steps need to be taken to prevent children's sexual abuse — including blocking minors from accessing pornographic content — to tackle offline and online harms for children.

    Narrative B

    The exposure of minors to violent pornography is undoubtedly resulting in tragic cases of assault and exploitation. However, it is not feasible to suggest that children's access to this kind of material is curtailed. Young people are always going to encounter inappropriate representations of sexual relationships, which is why the vast majority of people support compulsory eduction on the subject in UK schools. Lessons on topics like the impact of pornography and sexting awareness could give young people the skills they need to stay safe and engage in healthy consensual relationships as adults.

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