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The Pattern of Sexual Assault in People Presenting to a Gynaecological Unit of a Tertiary Hospital in South- West Nigeria


Aigbe G Ohihoin*, Oliver C Ezechi, Arafat A Ifemeje, Ejike F Medobi, Ngozi E Ohihoin and Simon D. Taylor-Robinson

Context: Sexual assault is a crime of violence that incorporates unwanted sexual behaviour, such as sexual coercion, uninvited kissing, fondling, touching and ultimately, rape. Individuals prone to sexual abuse are usually the young, poor, and vulnerable members of society, who are often subject to other forms of social vices, such as domestic violence. Aims: To ascertain the pattern of sexual assault in people presenting to a large gynaecological unit of a tertiary referral centre, in Nigeria. Settings and Design: Methods and Material: The study is a descriptive cross-sectional study that was undertaken over a 2-year period from January 2011 to December 2012. Statistical analysis used: SPSS. Results: The prevalence of sexual assault in this study was 1.64%. The majority (90.3%) of victims were single. At least a third (n=35) had secondary education. 62.65% of the patients delayed presentation until after 24hours, (n=52). The commonest reason for delay in presentation was of fear or embarrassment in 51.80% (n=43). The commonest place of assault was at the assailant’s home in 33.7% (n=28). Many cases of assault occurred at night. 63.65% of the victims wanted suspects to be prosecuted (n=53). 67.46% of the victims expressed the desire to take legal action (n=56). Only 51.80% of the respondents (n=43) were aware of a route of seeking re-dress. Conclusions: Victims of sexual assault delay their presentation to health facilities because of fear and embarrassment. A significant percentage of the victims do not know how to obtain medical help.

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Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research The Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research is a bi-monthly multidisciplinary medical journal.
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