Childhood sexual assaults presenting at the central hospital, Benin City, Edo State
Background: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is a common and serious societal ill that has not been given adequate attention in our society. It is highly underreported yet has serious adverse physical, psychological and medical effect on its victims.
Objective: The study seeks to evaluate the frequency of CSA in our environment and to determine the sociodermographic parameters of the victims and perpetrators.
Materials and Methods: This is a prospective study conducted at Central hospital, Benin City. Cases of CSA were documented over a seven month period using semi structured questionnaire. The results was analyzed using SPSS version 16 and presented with tables.
Results: A total of 80 cases of CSA was reported during the study period with an average of 11.4 cases per month. The mean age of the victims was 10.8 yrs. Females were affected in 97.5% of cases. Thirty one of the victims are secondary school pupils and 16 (20%) of them are preschool children. The age group of the perpetrators commonly involved is 21 – 25 yrs. The use of force was documented in 78.8% of cases while in 21.2%, manipulation was imployed by the perpetrators. Most commonly, neighbours were the culprit accounting for 57.3%. Most abuses were committed during the day (65%) and vaginal penetration is the most common form of assault. Only 33.8% of cases reported within 24 hrs of abuse.
Conclusion: CSA is common in Benin City and only a few present early to the hospital for evaluation.
Keyword: Childhood, sexual assault, Benin City