The number of sexual offences against children in Scotland including rape, sexual assault and grooming have reached a 10-year high of 3,742, according to the NSPCC.
The charity stated the number of contacts to its helpline from adults in Scotland worried a child is being sexually abused rose by 19% to 407 in 2014/15.
The figures are revealed in the NSPCC’s third How Safe are our Children? report measuring the extent and nature of child abuse across the UK.
Half of the contacts received by the charity’s helpline from people in Scotland about sexual abuse were so serious they were immediately referred to the police or children’s services.
A spokesman said it is unsure why the number of calls to the charity has risen, but greater awareness of sexual abuse may be giving more victims the courage to come forward, including those reporting historical cases.
Matt Forde, NSPCC Scotland’s head of national services, said: “The nation has been horrified by the revelations of decades of horrendous child abuse. But while the Scottish Government’s inquiry is historical, child abuse is not.
“For too many children, our court system adds further trauma to their earlier experiences of abuse. We need a bold approach to reform our legal system. By borrowing from Scandinavian models, we can free children from further suffering and allow the therapeutic support they need to begin more quickly.”
Kieran Watson, from Dundee charity 18 and Under, said the NSPCC figures represent “the very tip of the iceberg” as victims are often reluctant to come forward until years later.