Prevalence and pattern of sexual abuse among children attending Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State
Background: Child sexual abuse is broadly defined as both direct genital contact and indirect interactions such as ‘exposure’ or internet-based activity (for example, the sending of electronic sexual pictures to minors). Though sexual abuse is common, yet many adults are not prepared or unwilling to deal with the problem when faced with it, this could lead to
underreporting of the crime and stigmatizing of the victim.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and pattern of sexual abuse among children attending Ebonyi state university teaching hospital, Abakiliki.
Methods: A retrospective study of cases of sexual abuse that presented
in the children outpatient clinics of EBSUTH between the 1st of January and 31st of December 2010.
Results: A total of 3750 children attended clinic of which 33 were diagnosed as being sexually abused, giving a prevalence rate of 0.9%.
They were 31 (93.9%) females and 2 (6.1) males, most of the reports
were made by the victims 23 (69.7%) and or their parents 9 (27.3%). Most of the reports made happened within one week 15 (45.5%). It is noted that HIV test was done which was negative among 15 (42.4%) children and
positive in one (3%) after twelve weeks.
Conclusions: The prevalence or sexual abuse in EBSUTH is 0.9%. This low prevalence could be due to the fact that child sexual abuse is scantly reported because of the stigma attached to it.
Key words: child sexual abuse; prevalence; pattern; EBSUTH