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Child sexual abuse

Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2007;50(1):20-27.
Published online January 15, 2007.
Child sexual abuse
Hyun Joo Lee, Hye Jung Han, Ji Hee Kim, Hye Sun Lee, In Sil Lee
Department of Pediatrics, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea
소아 성폭력에 관한 임상적 고찰
이현주, 한혜정, 김지희, 이혜선, 이인실
국립경찰병원 소아과
Correspondence: 
In Sil Lee, Email: edith@dreamwiz.com
Abstract
Purpose
: Child sexual abuse is a significant and serious problem that affects public health and society. Pediatricians are responsible for preventing and detecting sexual abuse of children. The aim of this study was to examine clinical findings of child sexual abuse.
Methods
: The authors retrospectively studied 292 patients between the ages of 0 and 18 who were referred for evaluation of sexual abuse to the Emergency Department of the National Police Hospital from Oct 1, 2001 to May 5, 2005.
Results
: Sixty three (21.6 percent) of sexual abuse victims were younger than 6 years of age; 89 (30.5 percent) were 6-12 years of age; and 104 (47.9 percent) were 12-18 years of age. Attack time was the most common between noon and 6 pm. Victims were attacked in their home or nearby (51.4 percent). One hundred fifty six (53.6 percent) offenders were accquaitances, thirty nine (13.4 percent) of whom were family members. The disclosure of attack by parents with abnormal physical symptoms was more common in younger children than in adolescence. Eighty nine (30.5 percent) victims had no specific physical findings, 51 percent had injury to the hymen, 37.3% had injury to external genitalia, and 4 percent had anal injury. One case of gonorrhea and thirteen cases of chlamydia were found. Sperm was found in 19 cases and acid phosphatase was positive in 28 cases. The absence of physical findings and laboratory findings was more common in younger children than in those in adolescence. The time interval from attacks to hospital visits had a significant negative correlation with age.
Conclusion
: For younger victims, the time interval from attack to hospital visitis was more prolonged. Victims may have no physical evidence of sexual abuse. Therefore, a careful history should be obtained and a through physical examination should be performed. Pediatricians must play a leading role in evaluation and treatment of sexually abused children, considering children,s growth and development. Coordination with other professionals is necessary to provide consultation, medical treatment, and legal assistance for the sexually abused children and families.
Key Words: Child sexual abuse


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