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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 5, No. 2
June 2000

National and North Carolina Sexual Abuse Data

  • In 1991, the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) reported 129,697 substantiated and indicated child victims of sexual abuse.

  • An estimate of actual cases of child sexual abuse per year in the United States is 250,000 to 300,000.

  • Between 6 and 62 percent of women report being sexually abused as children (Wylie). Finkelhor's study found that 27 percent of women reported being abused.

  • Between 3 and 24 percent of men report being sexually abused (Wylie). Finkelhor's study found 16 percent of men reported sexual abuse.

  • The median age of abuse was 9.9 years for boys and 9.6 years for girls.

  • Some studies indicate that girls are far more likely than boys to be victims of sexual abuse; in 1997, 76.6 percent of sexually-abused children were females (USDHHS, 1997). However, boys may be victimized nearly as often as girls, but may not be as likely to disclose the abuse.

  • In 1997-98 there were 1,453, substantiated child sexual abuse cases in North Carolina.


Guidelines for the evaluation of sexual abuse of children: Subject review. (1999, January). Pediatrics, 103(1), 186-192.

National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse. (1994, June). Statistics in child sexual abuse. Huntsville, AL: Author.

North Carolina Department on Health and Human Services, Division of Social Services. (1999). Central registry reports of child abuse, neglect, and dependency. Raleigh, NC: Author.

Sinal, S. H. (1994, December). Sexual abuse of children and adolescents. Southern Medical Journal, 87(12), 1242-1259.

United States Department of Health and Human Services. (1997). Child maltreatment 1997: Reports from states to the national child abuse and neglect data system. Washington, DC: Author.

2000 Jordan Institute for Families