Pattern of child sexual abuse among children treated in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Teaching Hospital 2010-2013
Keywords:child sexual abuse, perpetrator, victim
Background: sexual abuse is a worldwide problem affecting all segments of the society including children. It has a profound impact on the physical and mental health of the victims and their families. In Ethiopia sexual abuse of children has been under reported and prevalence reported were wide range and impact on the individual and society level not known.
Objective: To assess the prevalence of child sexual abuse and predisposing conditions among children
treated in Tikur Anbessa Specialized Teaching Hospital in three years period from September 2010-2013.
Methods: During the three year study period, 544 children under 18 years were treated for sexual abuse out of them 300 charts were selected after systematic random sampling and sociodemographic variables, possible risk factors and family structure were analyzed.
Results: During the three years period a total of 97,682 children were seen at the Outpatient Department (OPD) of Tikur Anbessa Specialized Teaching Hospitalout of them 544 were children treated for sexual abuse. Among 300 selected children 64.7% (194) of them were females. 59% were aged between 6-11 years. 203 of the children were living with their both biologic parents and reported no family problem. 41% and 23.3% of the children were victimized at their neighbourhood and their own house respectively. Almost all perpetrators (90%) were males and majority of them were known to the child and used physical force as means. Drug and weapons used rarely. Late presentation to health institution and absence of abnormal physical findings in more than half of the victims were observed.
Conclusion: all children are at risk of sexual abuse irrespective of their age, gender, degree of relationship to the perpetrators. Females are more affected than males. Living with both parents was not found protective and children were abused in the environment considered safe. There is a need of more research to understand the whole dynamics of child sexual abuse