What We Don’t Know: Data Gap Analysis
The aim of this section is to look at the data currently available from official government sources to assess what data is not available and could lead to significant insights to better inform all stakeholders involved in CSA prevention efforts.
Since each department and bureau reports CSA data according to different groupings of the types of CSA, using different terminology and definitions, it nearly impossible to track either vulnerabilities of specific groups or intake of cases through to some sort of outcome.
Data provided by both the official government sources and NGOs is also presented only by each variable, such as the numbers of girls and boys as CSA victims. Since data was not presented by cases (e.g. case 1/female/12 years old/abuser: 52 year old, father/private parts contact/ location: home), we and other researchers are not able to provide analysis by looking at the relationships between different variables.
Looking into the relationships among variables would give us all a more comprehensive picture of CSA in Hong Kong and allow NGOs, government departments and bureaus, parents, and concerned professionals / individuals to identify patterns and vulnerable groups to help prevent such a large percent of the population from suffering CSA.
With enhanced reporting we might be able to make plans to address specific issues. For example if it was found that boys ages 9-11 are particularly vulnerable to rape by authority figures not related to them, better planning could be affected to protect them.
We would also be able to understand the lifecycle of a CSA cases to assess the effect of changes in law, case handling improvements etc. For example we could look at things such as of X number of unlawful intercourse with a girl under 13 by a family member, X percent were charged, X percent were found guilty. X percent received a custodial sentence over 2 years.
While the EDB does have established reporting procedures, they informed TALK that they do not retain any data related to CSA. Jurisdictions such as the UK regularly produce reports related to children placed in protection plans because of abuse.
Like the EDB, the HA is also mandated to protect children via Multi-Disciplinary Co-operation, however the data they hold has not been extracted from their private patient data and therefore they informed TALK they could not supply it. They did advise that for academic research they can undertake the work with a fee of ~HKD60,000.
We can see from previous studies (Ip 2013) that the data held at the HA is extremely helpful. The Ip 2013 study provided insights on health outcomes and geographical / social indicators for CSA victims by analysing the SWD’s CPR records and the HA’s Clinical Data Analysis and Reporting System (CDARS) and Accident and Emergency Information System (AEIS).
Social Welfare Department
Table 24. Social Welfare Department CPR Data Gap Analysis
The SWD provided TALK with some custom data breakdowns which were instrumental in creating our CSA dashboard.
The annual public data they provide by way of the CPR, produced by the SWD’s Family and Child Welfare Branch, provides information such as sex, age, types of harm, ethnicity, disability, living arrangements, district and risk factors. However, not all the data is mapped to the types of abuse (sexual, psychological, multiple abuse, physical, neglect).
For example, in 2021 SWD received 1,367 suspected cases of child abuse, of which 448 were suspected CSA. These CSA cases did not have corresponding data points for district, ethnicity, living arrangements, marital status of perpetrators, or education attainments of perpetrators.
Boxes with stars in them in the table below indicate relationships between variables that may give significant insights, e.g. If a child with a disability will be more or less likely to be sexually abused by a family member, friends/classmates, professionals, or strangers.
Hong Kong Police Force
Table 25. Hong Kong Police Force Custom Data Gap Analysis
The HKP Crime Wing provided TALK with a custom breakdown of their data which gives only a couple of data points namely the offence, age of victims, and relationship between the perpetrators and victims.
The HKP records should be a rich source of information since they receive the most number of cases annually and potentially will accrue more data, particularly demographic data about perpetrators, than other sources. Since the data is not provided we are missing the opportunity to understand the genders of victims, ages and genders of perpetrators or map any of the data to other data points.
Department of Justice
The DOJ provided TALK with some custom data breakdowns for sexual offences charges laid however, the data was limited. The data provided fell under just three variables – Charges by Offences / Outcomes (verdicts) / Type of Sentence.
Since the age of the victim is not recorded, the DOJ could not specify which sexual offences were committed against children and we had to narrow down the data to those charges that contain age related information (e.g. unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13). There are no crimes in the criminal ordinance that specify males, so this data is missing from their data. Therefore, we were not able to identify CSA cases under general offences, such as rape and indecent assaults.
With further data we may be able to look at the ratios among found guilty / found not guilty / pleaded guilty by each CSA offence. For example, there is a much higher ratio of pleading guilty vs found not found guilty (130:17:4) under the offence of ‘publishing/possession of / making a child pornography than the offence of rape (48:85:75). However, we are not able to draw comparisons currently as many offences against minors is likely missing from this data.
Correctional Services Department
The CSD informed TALK that they do not maintain statistics related to CSA or sentencing lengths. Jurisdictions such as the Australia regularly produce reports related to sexual offending rates, outcomes, sentencing periods, etc. 
With further data we could look at imprisonment rates, perpetrator demographics, sentencing lengths, rehabilitation efforts such as ratios of referrals to the Sex Offenders Evaluation and Treatment Unit (residential treatment unit for persons in custody), and recidivism.
 Education Bureau Circular No. 1/2020, Handling Suspected Cases of Child Maltreatment and Domestic Violence https://applications.edb.gov.hk/circular/upload/EDBC/EDBC20001E.pdf
 Protecting Children from Maltreatment – Procedural Guide for Multi-disciplinary Co-operation. Hong Kong: Social Welfare Department, 2020.
 Sexual Assault – Perpetrators, Australian Bureau of Statistics https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/sexual-assault-perpetrators