Sarah Champion MP obtains statistics showing 98% perpetrators sentenced to prison for child sexual abuse are men.

Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham, has obtained figures from the Ministry of Justice that details the dramatic increase in the number of people sentenced to custody for child sexual abuse (CSA) offences since 2010, and the high percentage of those offenders being men.

 

The figures show that there has been a 33% increase in the number of custodial sentences given to CSA offenders between 2010 and 2017. The statistics show that last year was the first year since 2013 that the number of people receiving custodial sentences fell, down 4.7%.

 

In total, 119 people have received life sentences for CSA since 2010. According to the Sentencing Council, offences that warrant a life sentence for CSA include the rape of a child under 13, the assault of a child under 13 by penetration and the paying for the sexual services of a child under 13. 

 

The period covered by the statistics has seen a significant increase in the profile of CSA, in part due to large scale prosecutions in the towns of Rotherham and Rochdale, the Jimmy Savile scandal and revelations about abuse in sports teams.

 

Figures obtained for 2017 show that of 3,234 offenders who received immediate custodial sentences for CSA, 98% were men.

 

Commenting, Sarah Champion said: 

 

I am not surprised that 98% of custodial sentences for child sexual abuse are given to men. Child sexual abuse is about power. It’s men using their power over the vulnerable to abuse, rape and exploit them.

 

The tragedy is that child sexual abuse is still happening on a massive scale.  Police recorded child sexual abuse is up 16%, so it’s really worrying that last year custodial sentences started to fall for the first time since 2013. Some people might like to think we’re over the worst of it but the numbers clearly say otherwise.

 

We have to accept that children are still being abused but the police just cannot cope with the volume. Fewer cases are being passed on to the CPS and we are seeing fewer convictions as a result. How can we expect victims to have faith in this system when it is so under resourced?

 

Supporting victims as soon as they come forward is vital.  The only way we can guarantee this is to introduce a statutory duty ‘Victim’s Offer’ so that everyone can get therapeutic support and advocacy they need.”

To see the Government’s data in full, go to: https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-questions-answers/?page=1&max=20&questiontype=AllQuestions&house=commons%2clords&uin=180743

Jim Pomeroy