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Prevalence and pattern of sexual assault in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria

Mairo Hassan
Kehinde Joseph Awosan
Abubakar Abubakar Panti
Sadiya Nasir
Karima Tunau
Amina Gambo Umar
Constance Egondu Shehu
Aeron Eze Ukwu
Bilal Sulaiman


Introduction: sexual violence is an important public health problem of growing concern all over the world. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and pattern of sexual assault managed in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto, Nigeria. Methods: it was a retrospective study that looked into cases of sexual assault admitted into the hospital between January 2010 and December 2014. Information on patients’ biodata, and relevant details on the cases were extracted from the patients’ case files and analyzed. Results: out of the 5317 gynecological admissions during the period under study, 45 (0.84%) were cases of sexual assault. Of these, only 34 case files were available for data extraction. The patients’ age ranged from 2 to 37 years (mean = 12.6 + 8.3). About two thirds (61.8%) of those affected were young children (aged 12 years and below). In majority of cases (70.6%) the assault was penetrative, and in most of the cases (91.2%) only a single assailant was involved. In close to two thirds of cases, the assailant was either an acquaintance (38.2%) or a family member (20.6%). Although law enforcement agents were informed in majority (58.8%) of cases, arrests were made in less than half (41.2%). Conclusion: although the prevalence of sexual assault in this study appears to be low, a major cause for concern is the fact that those affected were predominantly young children. Parents should be more vigilant in monitoring their children’s movement, and stringent laws should be enacted and enforced to curb this heinous act.

The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24

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eISSN: 1937-8688