Characteristics of Perpetrators of Rape of the Girl Child in a Low Resource Setting in Enugu South East Nigeria, Nigeria

Author(s): Euzebus Chinonye EZUGWU*, Samuel Robsam OHAYI, Anthony Chukwuemeka IYOKE and Chidi Henry NNAJI

Background: Child rape is a public health problem globally, with severe reproductive health, social and psychological implication for the affected child. Objective: To determine the characteristics of the perpetrators of rape of the girl child as reported by victims at Enugu state University Teaching Hospital, (ESUTH) Parklane, Enugu. Methods: Female child survivors of rape and or their parents/guardians that presented at the emergency gynecological and/ or forensic unit of ESUTH from 1st February, 2012 to 31st July, 2013 were interviewed using structured questionnaire. Data were extracted and analyzed using Epi info statistical software version 7. Analysis involved descriptive and inferential statistics. p value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 74 female child survivors of rape and or the parents/ guardian participated in the study. The mean age of the perpetrators was 29.6±11.0 years. They were all male, mostly adults (93.2%, 69/74), much older than their victims. Majority of them were single (67.6%, 50/74), attained secondary education (48.6%, 36/74) and were artisans (35%, 26/74). The perpetrators were mainly their victim’s neighbor (70.3%, 52/74) and step brothers (10.8%, 8/74). Most of the rape occurred at the perpetrator’s (31.1%, 23/74) and their victim’s residence (38.4%, 21/74). Perpetrators used force or threat in a significant number of their victims in adolescent group (44.9%) compared to the pre-adolescent group where condition of vulnerability was the form of intimidation used. Conclusion: Most perpetrators of girl child rape in Enugu were adult males, with close relationship with the child. Creating this awareness in our society may facilitate efforts to combat the crime.


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