Child-on-Child Sex Abuse Rising

Published: June 12, 2007

STOCKTON –  Juveniles are committing more and more of society’s sex crimes according to the Associated Press, which reported that the number of minors brought to court for sex offenses increased 40 percent in the last two decades.

In 1985, 24,100 children under 18 stood trial for rape and other violent and nonviolent sexual offenses.  By 2004, that number had risen to 33,800.

Some attribute the rising statistics to the sex-saturated media and point to the fact that many of the accused children previously suffered abuse from adults. Experts estimate between 40 and 80 percent of the offenders were once victims. Almost half have viewed hardcore pornography, according to a 2001 report from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

However, not everyone believes the statistics. Society has more stringent laws today than it did 20 years ago, and some fees that the number of laws – not the number of child offenders – has created the increased values. Some also believe that many children are unfairly classified as sex offenders.

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At the opposite end of the spectrum, Alaska psychologist Sharon Araji told the Associated Press she believes the true number of child sex crimes is higher than the current values suggest.  A 1999 National Crime Victimization Survey indicated that a mere 28 percent of violent sexual assaults are reported to the police.

Society has responded by building more treatment facilities, adding almost 600 more programs for adolescents since 1986 and creating 410 for children under 12, according to The Safer Society Foundation.

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