Sometimes it comes from other kids! – More than one third of those who sexually abuse children are other juveniles, not adults (as one might suspect).

Researchers found that juveniles account for more than one-third of those known to police to have committed sex offenses against minors. And juveniles who commit sex offenses against other children are more likely than adult sex offenders to offend in groups, at schools, and to have more male and younger victims.

Researcher David Finkelhor says, “With all the anxiety about predators and pedophiles, we don’t orient enough of our prevention thinking to reducing the risk of sexual abuse at the hands of other children. We have good evidence-based programs known to reduce sexually aggressive behavior in children. More communities ought to make these programs available.”

The number of youth coming to the attention of police for sex offenses increases sharply at age 12 and plateaus after age 14. Early adolescence is the peak age for offenses against younger children. Offenses against teenagers surge during mid to late adolescence, while offenses against victims under age 12 decline. These predators are mostly male: Females constitute only 7% of juveniles who commit sex offenses.

Not everything we talk about on Dreamland is pretty but it IS all at the edge: This weekend, we begin a two-week exploration of what’s happening to our most vulnerable citizens: our children, including an audio just for subscribers that contains Whitley’s own memories of childhood abuse at the hands of what seems to have been a government organization!

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