In just 7% of child abuse cases in the Netherlands is the perpetrator a complete stranger, according to a new report by the government’s expert committee on sexual violence against children.
The report, by the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings and Sexual Violence against Children, looks at the types of child abuses cases which end up in court in the Netherlands.
In 36% of cases, the attacker is a member of the child’s own family, the organisation said. In addition, one in six abusers is also under the age of 18. The average age of a victim is 10.
‘Many parents warn their children about child abusers and take care when their offspring come into contact with men who work in childcare or as swimming teachers,’ the organisation’s head Corinne Dettmeijer said. ‘But by placing so much emphasis on strangers and people who work with children, they are overlooking the victims and the perpetrators.’
Every year, around 300 adults are found guilty of child abuse in the Netherlands but many cases remain hidden and never make it to court. Most perpetrators are put on trial for abusing one or two children and multiple abuse cases are rare, the organisation said.
Girls are six times as likely to be the victims as boys and almost all perpetrators are male. Of the 182 perpetrators studied for the report, just five were female.
The organisation will issue a second report, on the sentencing of child abusers, this summer.
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