Trends and pattern of sexual assault in North Central Nigeria

Nathaniel Adewole, Christian Musa, Sulaiman Bilal, Dennis A Isah, Francis O Adebayo


Sexual assault is assuming an alarming status and usually leaves a devatating effect on women and girls who fall victim. The aim of this study was to determine the trend and pattern of sexual assaults. This was a retrospective cohort study. Case notes were retrieved from gynaecological emergency unit from January 2016 to December 2018. A total of 45 Case folders were collected. The information from the case notes were entered into a structured proforma. A total 2250 gynaecological emergency cases were seen and out of these 45 were victims of sexual assault, giving the prevalence of sexual assault to be 2.0%.  A large proportion 84.4% were noted in children less than 16 years of age. There was delay in presentation as only 40% did so within 24 hours of the incidence. In 84.4% of the cases, the victim had a relationship with the alleged assailant and the assault was said to have occured most times in the home of the assailant. In 95.5%, vaginal penetration was the commonest and threat of violence was the commonest method of overcoming the victims. About 42.2% victims did not have a human immunodeficiency virus screening test done for various reasons. In conclusion, gender-based violence and other practices that affect the health of women and children negatively, and sexual assault against children and adolescence are still prevalent in our clime as seen from this study. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[5]: 79-83).

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