JustFacts

Sexual Violations against ChildrenFootnote 1 and Child Pornography

May 2017

Research and Statistics Division

This fact sheet is based on publicly available data from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) from 2010 to 2015.Footnote 2

Police-reported incidents of sexual violations against children continue to increaseFootnote 3

There were 4,532 sexual violations against childrenFootnote 4 in 2015, which represents a 23% increase (+848 incidents) from 2010. The rate of 11 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010 increased to 13 incidents per 100,000 population in 2015. This increase is primarily attributable to significant increases in incidents of luring a child via computers (including the agreement or arrangement to commit a sexual offence against a child). Luring a child increased from 511 incidents in 2010 to 1,060 incidents in 2015. Various factors could account for the increase in sexual violations against children, including the establishment of specialized units in a police service proactively investigating this type of crime.

Police-reported incidents of child pornographyFootnote 5 continue to riseFootnote 6

There were 4,310 incidents of child pornography in 2015, which represents a 156% increase (+2,629 incidents) from 2010. Accordingly, the rate of 5 incidents per 100,000 population in 2010 rose to 12 incidents per 100,000 population in 2015.

Number of criminal court cases for “other sexual offences” increasingFootnote 7

There were 3,204 “other sexual offences” cases in 2014/2015, which represents a 37% increase from 2010/2011 (2,338 cases). Of note, not all “other sexual offences” are strictly offences against children. Footnote 8

Percentage of “other sexual offences”Footnote 9 cases resulting in a finding of guilt is decreasing and cases stayed or withdrawn is increasing

In 2014/2015, 56% of “other sexual offences” cases resulted in a guilty verdict compared to 68% in 2010/2011. In 2014/2015, 35% of “other sexual offences” cases were stayed or withdrawn compared to 26% in 2010/2011.

The percentage of guilty cases resulting in custody sentences is increasingFootnote 10

In 2014/2015, out of the 1,808 “other sexual offences” cases that resulted in a guilty verdict, 67% received custody as the most serious sentence, 18% received probation, 11% received an “other” sentenceFootnote 11, 3% received a conditional sentence and 1% received a fine. In 2010/2011, out of the 1,597 “other sexual offences” cases that resulted in a guilty verdict, 63% of guilty cases received custody as the most serious sentence, 23% received probation, 9% received an “other” sentence, 4% received a conditional sentence and 2% received a fine.

It takes about 11 months to completeFootnote 12 an “other sexual offences” case compared to 4 months for a Criminal Code caseFootnote 13

It took about 321 days to complete a case of “other sexual offence” in adult court in 2014/2015, which is 53 days longer than in 2010/2011. For comparison, in 2014/2015, it took a median of 120 days to complete a Criminal Code case, which is 2 days longer than in 2010/2011.

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