Analysis of 268 child and adolescent victims of sexual assault and the legal outcome

Turk J Pediatr. Jul-Aug 2008;50(4):313-6.

Abstract

Children- and adolescent-oriented sexual crime has been a progressively increasing public health problem in Turkey. The aim of this study was to define the sociodemographic features of the sexual assault victims and the assailants in the crimes against children and adolescents. In 221 (82.4%) of the cases, perineal findings were detected. In addition to perineal trauma, 76 (28.4%) of the victims had general body trauma and 35 (13.1%) declared fire-arm or knife threat. Ninety-nine (36.9%) assaults happened at the victim's home while 74 (27.6%) events took place in the assailant's home. Eighty-nine (33.2%) of the cases were examined by a general practitioner, 179 (66.8%) by a gynecologist or by a general surgeon (for male subjects), and 40 (14.9%) by forensic medicine specialists and committee, in case of objection to insufficient examination or investigation. In 156 (58.2%) of all cases, the accused were sentenced. In 6 (12.5%) cases, no penalty was inflicted due to lack of evidence. In deciding on an appropriate and deterrent punishment in children- and adolescent-oriented sexual crimes, we discuss in this study the importance of research and rehabilitation centers, which perform collection of evidence, on judicial decisions and the importance of the conduct of medical examinations by specialists.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / diagnosis
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Abuse, Sexual / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Turkey / epidemiology