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An analytical study on socio-demographic and medico –legal factors of victims of sexual assault from the Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces in Sri lanka

Authors:

A.N. Vadysighe ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About A.N.
Faculty of Medicine
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D.P.P. Senasinghe,

Nawalapitiya General Hospital, LK
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U. Attygalle,

Ratnapura General Hospital, LK
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A.M.G. Abeysekara,

Kuliyapitiya General Hospital, LK
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M.D.P. Gunasena,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About M.D.P.
Faculty of Medicine
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R.M.U.C. Ratnayake,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About R.M.U.C.
Faculty of Medicine
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Y.M.G. Ilangarathna Banda

Kuliyapitiya General Hospital, LK
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Abstract

Sexual assaults that have shown an alarming rise are a serious public health problem with hazardous socioeconomic and health related consequences. International studies have shown that young girls from poor socioeconomic and low educational level are at highest risk. Though we experience the same in Sri Lanka only few studies are available in the literature.

The study objectives were to determine the socio-demographic factors and medico-legal aspects such as type of act, relationship to the assailant, place of the incident, economic group, time of the incident and examination in cases of sexual assault.

The study was conducted on sexually abused individuals who reported to hospitals in Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces for medico-legal examination during the period between April 2007 and June 2012. Data was collected using a questionnaire by specialists and trainees in Forensic Medicine, maintaining professional standards. Data was analyzed using Microsoft Excel software.

Among 282 sexually assaulted victims, 96% were females. 81% were less than 18 years of age and among them, 43% were in 12-16 years age group. 71.13% were from school going population. 71.63% were from low socioeconomic group. 96% knew the assailant and 36% were boyfriends. 34% occurred in victim’s house. 56% claimed vaginal penetration. 6% were examined within 24 hours of the incident and 52% after 1 week.

In our study, most victims are young, school going females belonging to low socioeconomic group. In majority of assaults, assailant was a known person and it has occurred in a place known to the victim. Common allegation was vaginal intercourse. There was a considerable delay in time between the incident and examination which would have led to the destruction of very important medical evidence.

According to this study, young school children and low socioeconomic group cannot be excluded in formulating effective preventive programs against sexual violence.

Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law Vol.6(1): 12-20 (2015)

How to Cite: Vadysighe, A.N. et al., (2015). An analytical study on socio-demographic and medico –legal factors of victims of sexual assault from the Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces in Sri lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Forensic Medicine, Science & Law. 6(1), pp.12–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljfmsl.v6i1.7758
Published on 20 Nov 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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