10 Aug 2016

Sexual abuse study challenges 'stranger rapist' idea

6:42 pm on 10 August 2016

Nearly a sixth of all high school students have experienced sexual abuse, and usually from someone they know well, researchers have found.

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The University of Auckland surveyed 8500 secondary school students in 2012 about sexual health and sexual violence.

Its study found more than half of those who reported unwanted sexual contact were under the age of 15 at the time.

Females were twice as likely to be subjected to unwanted advances, but nearly three quarters of males who experienced it never told anyone about it.

Lead researcher Dr Terryann Clark said the findings challenged the assumption of the "stranger rapist", as most of cases involved a partner, a friend or a family member.

She said the effects of sexual abuse had lasting impacts on young people, their families and their communities.

Read the full release from the university about the study