Medical and legal aspects of child sexual abuse: a population-based study in a Hungarian county
ESC Congress Library. Tsikouras P. May 10, 2018; 208242
Dr. Panagiotis Tsikouras
Dr. Panagiotis Tsikouras
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Abstract
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Introduction: Very few studies focus on childhood abuse in middle European countries. The purpose of our study is to describe the medical and legal characteristics of children who experience sexual abuse and explore common features that may result in strategies for prevention. Materials and methods: Between 2000 and 2015, 400 girls and 26 boys under the age of 18, suspected of being sexually abused, visited one of the four hospitals in a Hungarian county. We retrospectively collected data illustrating the features of all cases. Results: Mean age at onset was 10.81 y (SD 3.453) for boys, 13.46 y (SD 3.364) for girls. Majority of boys (46.2%) were younger than 10 years old, the majority of girls (44.5%) were between 11 and 14 years old. In 278 cases (65.3%), the perpetrator was known to the victim, and a stranger was suspected in 148 cases (34,7%). In 79 of all cases (30.7% by boys and 17.7% by girls) a family member was the accused perpetrator. In more than one-third (boys) and in one-fifth (girls) of cases, sexual abuse had occurred on multiple occassions. In case of boys, CSA included sexual perversion in 14 cases (53.8%) and anal intercourse in 12 (46.2%) cases. In case of girls, sexual abuse included coitus in 219 (54.8%), sexual perversion in 164 (41.0), anal abuse in 14 (3.5%) cases, physical injury was incurred in 15 cases. Legal proceedings followed the CSA in 205 (48.1%) cases. The number of perpetrators who were sentenced was 41 (9.6%). Conclusion: The results highlight the urgent need to address the issue of sexual abuse in Hungary and minimize its impact. Prevention requires a systematic and lifelong approach to educating children about personal space safety and privacy to reduce vulnerability and is the responsibility of parents and professionals. Although the impact of sexual victimization can be profound it can be mitigated when the systém responds in an informed, objective manner assuring a defensible diagnostic opinion that substantiates concerns when warranted and assures that children receive therapeutic services.
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