Do Children Abuse Other Children?

Up to 50 percent of those who sexually abuse children are under the age of 18.

(Hunter, J.A., Figueredo, A., Malamuth, N.M., & Becker, J.V. (2003). Juvenile sex offenders: Toward the Development of a typology. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, (2003) Volume 15, No. 1).

20 to 50% of adolescents who have sexually abused children were themselves victims of physical abusei and approximately 40 to 80% were victims of sexual abuse.
(Hunter, J. and Becker, J., "Motivators of Adolescent Sex Offenders and Treatment Perspectives," in J. Shaw (Ed.), Sexual Aggression, American Psychiatric Press, Inc. (Washington, DC, 1998).

Children who abuse others often have been victimized in some way themselves. Acknowledging and addressing the distress these children have already faced is a good way to help end this abusive cycle. Experts and parents agree that with specialized treatment these children can heal and diminish the risk for experiencing or inflicting further harm.