Global Advanced Research Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences (GARJMMS) ISSN: 2315-5159
November 2014 Vol. 3(11), pp. 354-361
Copyright © 2014 Global Advanced Research Journals

 

Full Length Research Paper

Child sexual abuse: a review of cases presenting at the out patient clinic of a tertiary health centre in Bayelsa State, Nigeria

Chika O. Duru1*, Ovuirororie E. Ederiane1 and Felix O. Akinbami1

1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

*Corresponding  Author  E-mail:  duru_chika@yahoo.com; Phone: +2348034302438

Accepted 30 October, 2014

Abstract

Child sexual abuse remains a silent crime which occurs in different settings and cuts across varying social classes. Due to the stigma associated with it, the victims rarely disclose the act thus leading to underreporting of cases, with even fewer victims eventually presenting for medical care. Thus, this study was conducted to describe the pattern of sexual abuse among children presenting to the Children’s Out-patient (CHOP) of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital Okolobiri, Bayelsa State, Nigeria by a retrospective analysis of case notes. Of the 12,229 children seen at the CHOP, 33 (32 females, 1 male) were reported to have been sexually abused accounting for 0.3% of the Paediatric out- patient visits. The mean age of the sexually abused children was 7.9±4.0 years. Most of the sexual acts; 14 (70.0%) occurred in a residence and 7(21.2%) children reported it to be forceful. The perpetuators were mostly males (96.7%), adolescents (35.0%) and known to the abused children (66.7%). Nine (27.3%) of the children reported to the hospital within 72 hours of the abuse. The mode of sexual abuse in the majority (87.9%) of cases was genital-genital contact. Common presenting complaints included vaginal bleeding, vaginal/perineal pain, vaginal discharge and changes in behaviour. HIV screening was requested in 29 (87.9%) of the affected children and was reported to be negative in all the 18 children who were eventually tested. None of the children were referred for counselling and majority were lost to follow-up. In this sample of sexually abused children, the victims were mainly vulnerable premenarchial females who were abused at home by trusted males. Increased public awareness, accessibility to child social services and training of health care workers on appropriate management of cases is advocated.

Keywords: Child, sexual abuse, pattern, hospital, Bayelsa, Nigeria.

 

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