According to a global study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the sexual abuse of boys is not addressed by the laws in many countries.

The findings show the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation across 40 countries. The study examines how countries respond to such threats of sexual violence against children, as well as the environment, the legal framework the country provides to protect children, and whether government commitment is deployed to respond appropriately. The study also examines child rape laws across the 40 countries.

The report describes child abuse as a silent epidemic. The research suggests 120 million girls have been subjected to sexual abuse, with only a tiny proportion of 1% of rape survivors who seek professional help.

The study was developed by the EIU with support from the World Childhood Foundation, Oak Foundation and the Carlson Family Foundation.

Read more at Out Of The Shadows

Key findings

  • Sexual violence occurs in prosperous countries. Prosperous countries are focused on taking action against this threat. The top 10 of 40 countries in the index are among the world’s richest economies.
  • 25 out of 40 countries have laws requiring those working with children to report cases of child sexual abuse
  • Engaging in sexual activity in front of children is banned in 19 out of 40 countries.
  • Laws explicitly prohibiting the sexual touching of minors exists in 21 out of 40 countries
  • 20 out of 40 countries collect nationally representation prevalence on child sexual abuse. Only 5 countries out of 40 collect data relating to online child sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • 26 out of 40 countries have a designation law enforcement agency to fight child sexual exploitation.
  • 4 out of 40 countries have public services to prevent prospective offenders from engaging in an act of child sexual abuse.
  • 14 countries out of 40 have programmes to prevent rehabilitated offenders from reoffending.
  • Journalist associations have published guidelines for reporting on sexual violence against children in 17 out of 40 countries.
  • Boys are overlooked: only 5 out of 40 countries collect prevalence data for boys relating to child sexual exploitation

Global study finds the sexual abuse of boys is overlooked by state laws

The study finds that less than half of jurisdictions lacked legal protection for boys. Laws were often specific to girls and failed to recognise boys as victims. The research also found a tendency for support services, shelters and legal aid to be geared around women and girls.

In some cases, the countries which collected data only did so on girls who experienced abuse, or did not specify the gender of the victim.

Katherine Stewart, a consultant for the EIU, commented that often this issue is bundled up with violence against women- and therefore caters to girls rather than boys.

However, a study conducted in 2011 found 18% of girls and 8% of boys experience childhood sexual abuse globally. Abuse among boys is also thought to be higher is some countries. A Unicef study in 2010 found that 2 in every 10 men experienced abuse in childhood in Kenya.

  • A global perspective on child sexual abuse: meta-analysis of prevalence around the world, Read more at: NCBI
  • Violence against Children in Kenya-Findings from a 2010 National Survey, Read more at: UN Women

Many things contribute towards boys being less able to report abuse. Homophobia, macho stereotyping and social stigma all stop boys and men from reporting sexual abuse, violence and exploitation.  The authors from EIU suggest that boys should be given the terminology and the tools to allow them to report abuse or exploitation more comfortably.

The UK

The report detailed that the UK has improved on reporting abuse amongst men. Cases in England and Wales climbed from 3,819 in 2006-2007 to 12,130 in 2016-2017 according to the Office for National Statistics.

The #MeToo campaign and other high profile cases reported in the media, such as the child sexual abuse scandal in English football have all prompted increased awareness around child sexual abuse in both boys and girls, across various sectors and industries.

How we can help if you have been abused as a child

There are invaluable facilities you can obtain through the NHS and Social Services. However these facilities are oversubscribed and often mean a long period on a waiting list before treatment, support and facilities can be accessed.

We have found that for the victims of abuse to ever be able to effectively be able to deal with the torture of what they have been physically and emotionally since their abuse it is vital that they receive the treatment, support and facilities that are available out there.

Claiming compensation for the abuse you have suffered not only empowers you as a victim, but provides a platform for healing. It means enabling you to claim for the funds allowing you to:

  • Obtain financial compensation in relation to the abuse and mental health conditions suffered as a result of that abuse.
  • Access to doctors, specialist psychotherapists, psychiatrists and psychologists beyond limited NHS resources;
  • Access to specialist emotional and outreach support, as well as medical support;
  • Obtain compensation for your loss of opportunity of potential earnings due to any mental health condition suffered as a result of the abuse.

Bringing the claim can also act as a perpetrator to justice, preventing other potential victims from being abused. Your action could encourage other victims of abuse to come forward.

Many victims take years to fully understand and acknowledge the events which took place, and do not come forward until years after the abuse has taken place. Even if abuse happened years ago, you will still be able to claim compensation.

Whatever the circumstances may be, you should seek legal advice, to learn of the next best steps. It’s difficult to make the first point of contact. But doing so may enable you to gain answers and the tools to move forward with life.

Everything is confidential and you can bring your claim through the court with your name anonymised. No one else ever has to know unless you want this as part of the healing process.

All cases are dealt with on a No Win No Fee basis, so it costs you nothing to explore seeking justice for what you have endured and then suffered in the years following.

Contact us on 0113 284 5000 or alternatively email for a free confidential consultation.

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