A study carried out in the UK in 2009 disclosed distressing reports of abuse of nearly a million secondary school children.
The study, called Childhood Cruelty in the UK 2011, involved interviewing 2,275 children 11-17 years old and 1,761 adults of the 18-24 years age group. While 25 per cent of the adults talked about suffering from abuse as children, only 18 per cent of the children reported it. Researchers feel the children are not revealing the full story and are hiding their misery. This has been corroborated by real life experiences recounted by young adults who, as children had sadly come to accept their experiences as nothing unusual. As one of them told the researchers, "It's kind of normal because that's what you know, so you don't know any different so you kind of accept it. I'd say the majority of people haven't told anyone."
On the other hand, the decrease in the 6 percent of young adults reporting their experiences of abuse in 1999, to just 2 per cent ten years later could be a result of increased awareness and a proactive approach to the issue.
The chief executive of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Andrew Flanagan, commenting on the findings of the study the Society had published, said that local authorities need to support actively the steps taken by governments to ensure child protection.