It’s not just about ‘stranger danger’

Their Safe Haven


Growing up, I always remember being told over and over to take caution around people I didn’t know, ‘stranger danger’ if you will. But the face of a predator is not always that of a stranger. In fact, it’s a huge myth that children are mostly sexually abused by people they don’t know.

The following are facts about child sexual abuse in Canada, taken from the Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) website:

In 2008, of the 13,600 police reported cases of child/youth sexual assaults:

  • 10% of the accused were strangers –  Strangers were more likely to assault older children/youth between the ages of 12 and 17 than younger children (80% of stranger assaults were perpetrated against this older age group).
  • 75% of the accused were known to the child/youth.
  • Of those known, 33% were family members (97% were male relatives – 37%  male extended family members, 35% fathers…

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