Children commit up to half of all sexual abuse, experts say.
More than 800 children each year are reported for causing serious sexual harm to other children in New South Wales, Fairfax reported.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard last year the majority of child sexual abuse was likely committed by other children.
More than 800 children each year are reported for causing serious sexual harm to other children in New South Wales
‘We would be terrified’ if society knew the real rates of harm said Dale Tolliday, a clinical advisor the public rehabilitation service New Street.
‘It’s almost unbelievable for the average person, to think children would be capable of doing something like this.’
He has called for more clinics to prevent physiological damage to victims.
However, two years after a report recommended doubling the number of clinics, the government has no plans to increase funding.
A major problem says Tolliday, is children witnessing domestic violence between parents.
‘Most of these boys are carrying quite strong misogynistic, heterosexual stereotypes about entitlement and sexual behaviour,’ he says.
These children go far beyond normal sexual play says Freda Briggs, a child protection academic from the university of South Australia.
‘Normal is ‘you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.’
Furthermore this includes penetration and oral sex, and is often characterised by bribes, secrecy and threats.
“They are not easily distracted and they are angry when they are stopped,” Professor Briggs says.
This problem is also occurring among children who haven’t reached puberty
Ian Nisbet, a forensic psychologist said international and Australian research estimates children commit 30 to 50 per cent of child sexual abuse and 14 is a peak age.
‘I once saw a 14-year-old guy who was eventually convicted of three rapes,’ he said.
NSW’s first whole-of-government sexual assault strategy was underway said a departments spokesperson.
However government agencies say they have insufficient data on prevalence of child-child sexual abuse because the NSW Ombudsman does not need to be notified of child abuse committed by another child, unless the victim has a disability.
The Department of Family Services could not say how many children were reported for causing sexual harm in out-of-home care.