HL Deb 20 May 2004 vol 661 cc99-100WA
Lord Northbourne

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many children have been sexually or physically abused by:

  1. (a) a birth parent
  2. (b) a person living in the same household as the child who is not a birth parent; and
  3. (c) a person not in either of the above categories; in the last three years for which figures are available. [HL2585]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal)

The criminal statistics, published annually, do not categorise offences against children who have been sexually or physically abused in this way. The Home Office Court Proceedings database, can identify sexual or physical offences against children only where the age of the victim is identified by the offence. It does not hold information on the individual circumstances of the offence, thus the status of the defendant and relationship between victim and offender is not available.

A research paper by the Home Office published in 1998, entitled Sex Offending against children: Understanding the risk indicates that while individuals who sexually abuse children are an extremely varied group, around three-quarters of perpetrators who sexually assault children are known to them with about 80 per cent of offences taking place in the home of either the offender or victim.