A study by the Economist Intelligence Unit has revealed that “the sexual abuse of boys is barely addressed by the laws of many countries.”

The study which investigated the law on child rape in 40 countries found that in many cases laws specifically identified girls as victims and half of the countries “lacked any legal protection for boys.” It is estimated that 18 % of girls and 8% of boys globally have been subjected to sexual abuse. However it is thought that abuse of boys in some countries, such as Kenya is much higher than this. A report by Unicef stated that “2 in every 10 men experienced abuse in childhood.”

The study also comments on the difficulties experienced by males in reporting the abuse they have suffered and also the fact that the majority of support services tend to be geared towards women and girls.

The reporting of child abuse is also different in different countries, with a number of countries not collecting data in relation to the abuse of boys or where a child receives a gift or money in return for sexual activity. Some countries’ data also does not record whether the victim was male or female.

There is a warning in the report that tackling sexual abuse should be a global priority. According to the report, Canada, Sweden and Britain are the countries which are tacking abuse more effectively.

The report has described child abuse as a “silent epidemic” with a suggestion that 120 million girls have suffered sexual abuse. The growing use of the internet is thought to have increased the risk to children.

The report found that the UK had improved reporting among men. According to the Office of National Statistics cases in England and Wales have increased from 3,819 in 2006-07 to 12,130 in 2016-17. It is thought that reporting has been encouraged by the media coverage of the child abuse scandal in English football.

India was found to have the” best legal framework to protect victims”. It is thought that this is partly due Protection of Children Sexual Offences Act 2012 which focuses on protecting boys as well as girls from sexual violence.


If you have been affected by anything in this article please contact Jordans Solicitors for confidential and professional advice. Our team of Sexual Abuse Solicitors can be contacted free on 0330 300 1103 or you can request a call back and a member of our team will contact you.

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