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Prevalence and Nature of Child Sexual Abuse: Evidence From a Female University Sample in the UK

NCJ Number
Child Abuse Review Volume: 10 Issue: 1 Dated: January-February 2001 Pages: 49-59
Karen L. Oaksford; Neil Frude
Date Published
January 2001
This study aimed to establish a current estimate of the prevalence and nature of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom, using a sample of 213 female university students who completed self-report questionnaires regarding whether they had experienced any form of child sexual abuse and about several aspects of the abuse.
The participants were first and second-year undergraduates at Cardiff University in Wales in 1997 and first-year undergraduates in 1998. Results revealed that 28 of the participants reported having been sexually abused, for a prevalence rate of 13.14 percent. The majority of survivors experienced some form of contact abuse; the most prevalent form was fondling. The age of onset was 10 years or over for 61 percent of the victims. Only 21 percent of the victims experienced intrafamilial abuse. Findings indicated that a substantial proportion of female students in the United Kingdom had been sexually abused in childhood. Table and 38 references (Author abstract modified)