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The Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Cases

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2001
12 pages
This bulletin examines the decline in child sexual abuse cases.
The bulletin is part of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Crimes Against Children Series. The series attempts to improve and expand the Nation’s efforts to better serve child victims by presenting the latest information about child victimization, including analyses of statistics, studies of victims and their special needs, and descriptions of programs and approaches that address those needs. Substantiated cases of child sexual abuse decreased 31 percent between 1992 and 1998. The decline occurred in a majority of States, with no clear regional pattern. Substantiated cases of physical abuse declined 16 percent from a 1995 peak. In addition to the decline in the number of substantiated cases, child sexual abuse reports also decreased from an estimated 429,000 in 1991 to 315,400 in 1998, a decline of 26 percent. Possible explanations for the decline include a real underlying decline in the incidence of child sexual abuse and/or changes in attitudes, policies, and standards that have reduced the amount of child sexual abuse reported and substantiated. Figures, table, source, notes, references

Date Published: January 1, 2001