Building Knowledge

The views expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice Canada.

December 2012

Building Knowledge Issue 1 – Number of Female Victims of Police-Reported Sexual Assaults Increases in the Teen Years

This first issue of Building Knowledge looks at the number of young victims of all levels of sexual assault (I, II, III). When we think of victims of crime who are under the age of 18, we may focus on the very youngest as the most vulnerable; yet, as Figure 1 below shows, the number of female victims of sexual assault (levels I, II and III) for police-reported incidents starts to increase with the teen years (age 12-13), peaks at age 15, then starts to decline. We know that the majority of sexual assaults are never reported to police and the reasons for this are complex and often very personal. Based on the 2009 General Social Survey on Victimization, it is estimated that 88% of sexual assaults against Canadians aged 15 years and older are not reported to police.Footnote 1

The numbers in Figure 1 show the disproportionate impact of sexual assault on young females as compared to males. Females in their mid-teens are particularly vulnerable. The number of male victims of police-reported incidents remains relatively stable from the early years onwards.

Figure 1: Number of victims of police-reported sexual assaults against children and youth(0-17), 2011

Text equivalent for Figure 1 below

Figure 1 - Text equivalent

A vertical bar chart shows the number of victims of police-reported sexual assaults, male and female, for ages 0-17 years in the year 2011. The Y axis is measured in number of victims and increases in increments of 200, from 0 up to 1400. The X axis lists the age by year from 0 to 17.

The number of male victims is the first bar for each age, and the number of female victims is the second bar. At age 0, there were 14 male and 29 female victims; at age 1, there were 6 male victims and 13 female victims; age 2, there were 23 male victims and 71 female victims; age 3, there were 76 male victims and 190 female victims; age 4, 93 male victims and 269 female victims; age 5, there were 142 male victims and 272 female victims; age 6, there were 146 male victims and 244 female victims; age 7, there were 130 male victims and 277 female victims; age 8, there were 117 male victims and 274 female victims; age 9, there were 126 male victims and 305 female victims; age 10, there were 143 male victims and 344 female victims; age 11, there were 108 male victims and 412 female victims; age 12, there were 143 male victims and 610 female victims; age 13, there were 114 male victims and 945 female victims; age 14, 130 male victims and 1,077 female victims; age 15, there were 117 male victims and 1,297 female victims; age 16, there were 132 male victims and 1,082 female victims and at age 17, there were 176 male victims and 917 female victims.

Source: Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey 2011