Statistics & Information
Child Sexual Abuse
Child sexual abuse includes all sexual activity with children by adults, and coercive sexual activity between children themselves. Children cannot consent to sexual contact with adults; they have neither the understanding nor the social position for this to be a free, equal and informed choice. And all coercive sexual contact, no matter the age or social position of the parties, is a breach of human rights. Sexual abuse of children includes single incidents as well as repeated and ongoing abuse over many years. It ranges from adults exposing their genitals ('flashing') through to repeated brutal sexual torture, and in the most extreme cases death. Whilst many countries in Europe have different ages of consent, there is absolute agreement that sex with a child under 12 is a crime, and many define sex between a 13-16 year old and an adult as a criminal act.