Background: Population data on clinical and demographic characteristics of children who are sexually abused in Turkey is very limited. This paper aims to investigate the demographic and abusement characteristics of sexually abused children and adolescents who were referred for forensic examination to our child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinic. Methods: All of the 135 children and adolescents who were sexually abused and examined on request by the legal offices for the last year at the Bakırköy Mental Health Hospital, child and adolescent psychiatry department were included in the study. All written material including court files were analyzed retrospectively. Demographic (age, gender) and abusement characteristics of victims (relation of victim and perpetrator, type and duration of abusement) were evaluated. Results: The girls experienced more sexual abusement than boys (female 80.7%, male 19.3%). In 80.0%, the victim knew the suspected perpetrator well or he was a family member. Adolescents were more often abused more than once compared to the younger children. The sexual abuse events were mostly fondling (24.4%) and penetration of the vagina (27.4%). The mostly used method was using force by perpetrators (51.1%), or deceiving (29.6%) during sexual abuse. Conclusion: Results suggest that girls experienced more sexual abuse than boys; adolescents were more often abused more than once compared to the younger children. It is important to educate all children and adolescents about sexual abusement and to make special centers for them to report the abusement and to get psychiatric support.
child, adolescent, sexual abuse
Article Language: Turkish English