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Sexual abuse of children is more common than reports show

It is good to gather sexual abuse statistics, but those examining this data must remember that sexual abuse of children probably outpaces the numbers by a fair amount. The tough truth is that a lot of these cases are never reported at all. This does make it difficult to figure out exactly what the stats should look like, but professionals agree that the raw numbers are much lower than the reality.

The Crimes Against Children Research Center has looked into this data, in part by talking to adults and asking if they ever remember being assaulted in the past. These assaults may have gone unreported at the time. What they found is that 20 percent of women -- one for every five -- did recall being assaulted. The numbers were lower for men, coming in at just one out of every 20, putting it in the five percent range.

The study also found that the most dangerous time period for children, when they are at greatest risk of suffering an assault, is when they are between the ages of seven and 13.

In most cases, those who are attacked know the attacker quite well. It could be a relative or a family friend. The National Institute of Justice put out a report in 2003 saying that this was true in 75 percent of all of the cases, or three out of every four attacks.

If you or a loved one have been sexually assaulted, even if the assault occurred many years ago, you need to know your rights in Illinois.

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