Biomedical Research

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Sexual abuse and assault victims; comparing the characteristics of adolescent and adult victims

Objectives: In this study, it is aimed to evaluate the data of the cases subjected to the sexual abuse/ assault and to compare various characteristics according to the age.

Method: Information of the sexual abuse cases examined by the Psychiatry Department between September 2010-2011 was obtained retrospectively. Descriptive analysis was done and independent group’s rates were compared with chi-square test.

Results: Fifty (62.5%) of the cases were under 18 and 30 (37.5%) of them were over 18 years old. The youngest case was 15 years old. In the group aged below 18 years the female: male ratio was 96%:4% and in the group aged over 18 years, it was 89.3%:10.7%. Under 18 years, 4 (8%) cases were married by religious ceremony only, 1 (2%) case had separated from the spouse of a religious marriage and 45 (90%) cases were single. Over 18 years, 9 cases (30%) were married, 15 (50%) were single and 4 (13.3%) were divorced. In both groups, the proportions of women were significantly higher than men. In both groups it was determined that the majority of the abusers were familiar persons. There was not any difference between the groups by means of the familiarity of the abuser, place where the incident occurred, type of the abuse and the diagnosis determined by the psychiatric examination after sexual abuse.

Conclusion: It is important to determine that the women composed of the majority of the cases in both groups, abusers were generally familiar persons, boyfriend abuses were more prevalent in the adolescent group and there were several cases that had religious marriages in the adolescent group. More studies are needed in this field in order to maintain a standard evaluation of the sexual abuse cases and minimize the understanding and language differences between law enforcement and health care providers.

Author(s): Erdal Ozer, Serap Erdogan Taycan, Ali Yildirim, Feryal Çam Çelikel, Ramazan Tetikçok, Burak Gümüs