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Children Are at More Risk from Peers than from Adults

Britain recently recognized, in a report released by the NPCC (National Police Chiefs’ Council), that 52% of alleged offenders in reported cases of sexual assaults against children were children themselves. This is a significant increase compared to around one third a decade ago.  This report is in line with long-standing research in the U.S. that more than 70% of sexual assaults against minors come from other minors.

These findings challenge the common notion that adults pose the greatest risk to children. While it is crucial that child protection policies safeguard children from adults, it is equally important to recognize and address the potential risks that children face within their peer circles.

Most youth-serving organizations and experts who advise them focus child protection policies traditionally on establishing boundaries and safeguards between staff or volunteers and children. However, these recent statistics emphasize the need to be sure that our policies include protections between children as well.  

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The NPCC said 52% of alleged offenders were children, compared with around one third a decade ago. Police received reports of 14,800 rapes and sexual assaults against children aged 10 to 17 where the suspect was classed as a child, the overwhelming majority being boys.


child protection, child abuse, youth services law, ausburn_deborah, insights