Information on sexual violence towards females is inadequate. Some statistics are available, but it is uncertain how accurate they are, as many cases go unreported. Therefore an in depth study should be conducted to explore the real situation.
Routine data pertaining to victims of alleged sexual violence were analyzed to document epidemiological and socio-economic data and to describe the medico-legal aspects of injuries.
Materials and Methods
All the sexual violence cases referred to the JMO’s office, General hospital, Matara form 1stof January 2012 to 1stof December 2012 were retrospectively analyzed.
During the study period, 260 victims were referred for medico-legal examination. The age of the victims ranged from 4 years to 62 years. 177 (68%) victims were between 11 to 16 years of age. Majority (90%) of the victims belonged to lower socio-economic classes. 210 (80%) had not studied beyond grade 10. The alleged incident had taken place at the victims’ house in 110 (42%) cases. In 148 (57%) cases, the victim had given “consent” for the alleged act. 22 (8%) were pregnant at the time of examination. Out of the population 100(38%) had hymenal tears but out of that, only 11 had fresh tears. Extra genital injuries were present only in 4 (1.5%) cases. The assailant was the boy friend in 149 (57%) cases. Seventy (27%) cases were reported from Matara police area followed by Akuressa 43 (17%).
Majority were children below 16 years of age belonging to lower socio-economic group. As they were below 16 years, this amounted to statutory rape. Majority had given “consent” for the alleged act and this could be a reason for lack of extragenital injuries together with delayed presentation. This data highlights the magnitude of juvenile sexual abuse especially by the older boy friends and other known people.
Medico-Legal Journal of Sri Lanka 2013; 1(3) : 8-13