More than 1,500 sexually abused children have turned to the Children’s House under the auspices of Hope for Children since 2017, it emerged on Saturday.

The year 2021 had the biggest recorded spike of incidents, at 481 cases, according to daily Phileleftheros.

The figures reveal that 74.7 per cent of incidents were towards females, and 25.3 per cent were on males. Perpetrators were primarily men, at 74.4 per cent.

In 31.6 per cent of cases, the perpetrator was a part of the family and most often the father at 13.4 per cent.

Senior social worker Marios Nicolaou at the Children’s House said all cases are referred to them through the police and social services. Many cases come to light long after the abuse was carried out, primarily out of fear of not being believed or repercussions, he said.

Some instances involve children speaking out but not being believed.

The Children’s House aims to offer psychological support while ensuring the child’s safety.

A total of 29 per cent of families were known to police, and 54.5 to the social services. The average age of children being abused was 12, with the most common age being 16.

Over half of the cases – 65.8 per cent – of abuse was between an adult and a minor, while eight per cent was between teenagers between the age of 14 and 17.