Known adult is ‘most likely’ abuser

A majority of people believe that a child is most likely to be
abused by a family friend or someone in a position of trust,
according to a new opinion poll released last week.

The poll, carried out by Mori for Stop It Now!, was launched at the
House of Lords last week. Stop It Now!, created by the Wolvercote
Centre and backed by the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, the police, the
Department of Health, the Home Office and others, aims to reach
people before they abuse.

This will be achieved through a helpline, by raising public
awareness, by working with professional agencies, and by increasing

The poll of almost 1,000 adults finds that 58 per cent thought that
known adults posed the greatest risk. Of these, 28 per cent named
“adult family members”. Only 12 per cent asked thought that “adult
strangers” posed the greatest risk.

However, only 2 per cent identified “older children or teenagers”
as likely offenders. This is a group that Stop It Now! is keen to
target as studies show that about a third of abuse is perpetrated
by older children.

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