There has been a staggering 4,000 child sex abuse convictions in New Zealand over the last decade with no signs of it slowing down, says New Zealand First.
“This proves that the government’s proposed child sex offenders register should be open to the public, and that’s what New Zealand First is demanding to ensure children and families are kept safe,” says Spokesperson for Social Development Darroch Ball.
“With an average of 400 sex abuse convictions every year, that’s more than one person sent to jail every day for committing a sexual offence against a child.
“The figures indicate that a large number of convicted paedophiles will soon be released into the community and the government is doing little to protect children once this happens.
“The public surely has a right to know if there is a convicted child sex offender living in their community, and the government must act quickly to keep children safe as more offenders are released from prison,” says Mr Ball.
Prison terms are nowhere near long enough to protect our children.
Tip of the iceberg
Unless New Zealand is completely unique in the world, that 4000 represents the tip of the iceberg.
According to my calculations, New Zealand experiences about 9,600 different children being sexually abused every year. Since most, about 80%, are abused repeatedly, the actual number of child sex events in New Zealand is probably much closer to 50,000 per year.
This problem is way bigger than anyone is reporting, and it's not just New Zealand.
In India, for instance, of those who go to trial for child sex abuse, only about 5% are convicted, although officially the conviction rate was 46%, but since the infamous bus gang-rape and murder of a college girl in Delhi, the official conviction rate has actually dropped to 26%. In Pakistan that number is 7%.
Turkey, of all places, has one of the best, if not the best conviction rate in the world. From the numbers I've seen the rate varies between 60 and 90%. In Paraguay the conviction rate is about 30%.
The NSPCC reports a conviction rate in the UK if 73.5%, although that number is decreasing. However, in another report, NSPCC says the conviction rate has fallen to 60%.
It is without question that the majority of child sex abuses never get reported to authorities. In the US, NSOPW reports that rates vary according to your source between 16 and 30%. In American colleges, it drops to 12% as the culture of rape means that colleges keep a lid on sexual attacks in order for them to look like they are safe places to send your children.
One study in Canada found that 95% of all child sex abuse events go unreported. They also report that 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before 18. However another study show the rates of sexual assaults involving contact are about 15% for girls and 6% for boys.
Some of the difference in numbers can be explained by the definition of child sex abuse. Some statistics include non-contact sexual abuse like exposure to another's anatomy, or pornography, or attempted coercion, others look at only sexual abuse involving touching.