Talking about child sexual abuse can be very difficult and learning that abuse has happened to a child in your life can also be challenging. Parents and caregivers experience many different feelings when they learn a child they care about has been abused. Some parents and caregivers feel numb. Some feel angry. Some struggle to believe it.
All of these emotions are normal.
Learning about abuse is the first step toward healing a child and bringing a child’s perpetrator to justice.
The information on this site is intended to help parents and caregivers understand how Montana’s communities respond to child victims, to educate you about what you and the child victim can expect after making a report of abuse and to offer other helpful resources.
Child Sexual Abuse Statistics
Child sexual abuse is more common in Montana than many people realize:
- In 2008 and 2009, the Montana Child and Family Services Division received 1,406 reports of child sexual abuse.
- In 2009, 347 rapes were reported to law enforcement in Montana. More than half of these rape victims (188) were children between the ages of 3 and 17 years old.
- Children’s Advocacy Centers in Montana saw 1,123 Montana children in 2009 and 2010.
In the United States:
- One in every four girls is sexually assaulted by the age of 18.
- One in every six boys is sexually assaulted by the age of 18.
And according to the U.S. Department of Justice:
- 70% of victims of sexual assault were under the age of 18.
- 35% of victims of sexual assault were under the age of 12.
- 40% of the offenders who victimized children under the age of 18 were juveniles under the age of 18.
- 71% were assaulted by someone they were acquainted with or knew by sight.
- 18% were assaulted by a complete stranger.
- 10% were assaulted by a family member.
- Police were contacted in regard to only 30% of the sexually assaulted children.