An examination of the sociodemographic and psychiatric characteristics of children who have suffered penetrative and non-penetrative sexual abuse in Malatya, Eastern Turkey

Dundar A. S. , ORUÇ M. , Altin I., DÖNMEZ Y. E. , CELBİŞ O.

JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, 2022 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1556-4029.15106
  • Keywords: non penetrative sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, incest, penetrative sexual abuse, perpetrator, psychiatric disorders, POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS SYMPTOMS, CHILDHOOD, ADOLESCENT, RISK, DEPRESSION, PREVALENCE, PREDICTORS, DISCLOSURE, DISORDERS, SEVERITY


Penetrative and nonpenetrative sexual abuse can cause short- and long-term psychiatric problems in victims. This study aimed to examine the sociodemographic characteristics and psychiatric diseases of children in Malatya, eastern Turkey, according to whether the abuse was penetrative or nonpenetrative. A retrospective examination was conducted on the records of 115 cases of sexual abuse that had been referred to judicial authorities from January 1, 2012-July 30, 2019. The subjects were evaluated by a committee formed of 5-7 separate specialized department faculty members. It was determined that 51.3% (n = 59) of the cases had suffered nonpenetrative sexual abuse, and 48.7% (n = 56) had suffered penetrative sexual abuse. The majority of the perpetrators were known to the child from their close environment. A psychiatric diagnosis was made by the committee in 20.3% (n = 12) of the nonpenetrative cases and in 42.9% (n = 24) of the penetrative cases. There was a significant difference between penetrative and nonpenetrative sexual abuse in terms of psychiatric diagnoses. Of the cases of penetrative sexual abuse, 87.5% (n = 14) had attempted suicide. As a result, early diagnosis of sexual abuse, which has devastating effects on mental health in the early and late periods before it penetrates, can reduce the devastating effects on the child. For this reason, it is crucial for doctors, psychologists, social workers, and teachers who work with children to be informed about this issue.