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Report paints grim picture of child sexual abuse in Manitoba

Manitoba has the terrible distinction of having the highest rate of sexual assaults against children within the 10 Canadian provinces.

A Statistics Canada report released today showed 316 per 100,000 children and youths (under the age of 18) were victims of police-reported sexual offences in Canada in 2012.

That is well above the national rate of 205 for every 100,000 children and youth. There were about 14,000 children and youth who were victimized across the country in 2012.

The rates were higher in the three territories.

Saskatchewan wasn’t far behind it’s neighbour to the east. That province had a rate of 306 per 100,000.

Overall, the rate of police-reported sexual offences against children and youth decreased for the second consecutive year in 2012, and was similar to the rate reported by police in 2009.

But most alarming is that children and youth accounted for 55 per cent of the victims of all sexual offences reported by police, even though they make up just one-fifth of the Canadian population.

In Canada, young females were victims at a higher rate than male children and youth. There were 341 female child or youth victims of police-reported sexual offences for every 100,000 female children and youth in Canada, about five times higher than the rate for males (75 per 100,000 male children and youth).

About 9 in 10 (88%) victims knew the accused and for the remainder (12%) the accused was a stranger. Most often, the victim knew the accused as an acquaintance (44%) or a family member (38%). For some victims, particularly older youth, the perpetrator was an intimate partner such as a boyfriend or girlfriend (6%).

Younger children were most often victimized by a family member, while older children were most frequently victimized by an acquaintance or stranger, the statistics show.

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