Sexual violence against children and adolescents in Paraná State: geospatial analysis and main socioeconomic indicators

J Pediatr (Rio J). 2024 May 1:S0021-7557(24)00056-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jped.2024.03.014. Online ahead of print.


Objective: Child sexual violence is a multidimensional problem of many contemporary societies, affecting people of all sexes, social stratum and age groups. Offenses involving children and adolescents are more serious, given their total or partial dependence on parents and caregivers. Information on child sexual violence in Brazil is found in raw form and without detail. The objective was to compare the information with social and economic data in the state of Paraná.

Methods: The authors conducted a retrospective study of secondary data from the Notifiable Diseases Information System (SINAN) on cases of sexual violence involving victims aged 0 to 19 years. Results are presented according to notification characteristics. The authors applied exploratory spatial data analysis to assess spatial autocorrelations and investigated relationships by the ordinary least squares regression model.

Results: Between 2017 and 2021, there were 13,403 reports of child sexual violence in Paraná State, Brazil. Most victims (82.8%) were female and aged between 10 and 14 years. The majority of sexual violence cases (67.8%) occurred in the home environment. The highest rates on a population basis were observed in the North Central and Greater Curitiba regions, mainly in cities with higher population density and with higher rates of other types of violence.

Conclusion: The results provide data that can promote a broader understanding of the distribution of sexual violence and the state and associated variations. It is expected to improve the provision of care for victims of child sexual violence and assist in strategic planning to prevent future offenses.

Keywords: Abuse notification; Child abuse; Child abuse, sexual; Public health surveillance; Sex offenses.