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Tuesday, 07 December, 2021
Home NATIONALSexual offences against children on wane
Sun, 22 Nov, 2015 12:03:10 AM
FTimes – STT Report, Nov 22
Child sexual harassment. File Photo – Lehtikuva.
The number of criminal reports filed to the police on sexual offences committed against minors has decreased, found an extensive study by the University of Tampere on child victims.
Over 2,100 reports of child sexual offences were reported in 2012 compared to under 1,500 reports filed up to the end of October this year.
According to Noora Ellonen, a lecture at the university, this is a case of genuine reduction of crime.
In the last 30 years, the number of ninth grade school girls who have ended up as victims of child sexual exploitation has dropped from 14 per cent to 4 per cent. 
The number of boys of the same age exploited has also dropped by five per cent in the same period.
The information is based on extensive studies conducted from 2008 to 2013. During the studies, pupils between sixth and ninth grades were asked about their sexual experiences with older persons for at least five years. The comparison was made with a similar study from 1988.
“A lot of work to prevent crimes has been made and the development is positive. Still you have to remember that well over a thousand girls in one age group have fallen victim to exploitation,” Ellonen said.
According to the study, not only the sexual experiences of minors have declined, the acts of exploitation have also not advanced as far as in the past. While the experiences of 6 per cent of the minors in the 1988 study involved intercourse, only one per cent of the minors in the current study had experienced that.
The study also revealed that the other party in respect to sexual experience more often is unknown to the respondent. The figure of unknown parties in the 1988 study was one fifth compared to one third in the current study. The corresponding figure of sexual experiences with friends has also substantially declined.
Furthermore, the percentage of such experiences with family members has dropped from four to two, same as with relatives, teachers and recreational activities instructors.
Young people do not always consider sexual experience with older persons as abuse, if the person is a friend or a person whom the teenager thinks to be dating.
Later, however, the experience may bring new negative emotions or thoughts.
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