Myths and truths


Myth: Children are usually abused by strangers

Truth: Most children are abused by someone they know and trust


Myth: Women do not sexually abuse children

Truth: Although the majority of sexual abusers are male, in around 5-10% of cases the sexual abuser is female


Myth: It doesn’t happen here – this is often said in the context of family, class, ethnic group or community

Truth: Abuse happens in all classes, ethnic group, cultures and communities


Myth: Children are prone to lying about abuse

Truth: Children very rarely lie about abuse, and their greatest fear is that they won’t be believed (abusers will often tell children that no-one will believe them if they tell)


Myth: When parents have abused a child the children are usually taken into care

Truth: Child protection professionals know that whenever possible the best place for a child to grow up is with their parent(s), so they always try to protect a child within the home whenever possible


Myth: Child abusers come from deprived backgrounds, are below average intelligence, or are recognisable as dangerous

Truth: Abusers come from all walks of life, social class and intellectual background.  They may be well-liked and respected members of the community