Home > Female adolescent sexual assault; a national review of 1000 consecutive cases.

Kane, Daniel and Eogan, Maeve (2024) Female adolescent sexual assault; a national review of 1000 consecutive cases. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 101, 102613. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jflm.2023.102613.

External website: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

Background: Sexual violence is common in contemporary society and disproportionally affects adolescents. In order to develop effective treatment, awareness and prevention strategies it is vital that we understand the epidemiology of adolescent sexual assault (SA). The aim of this study is to evaluate attendances by female adolescents to the national sexual assault treatment unit (SATU) network and compare these attendances with adult women accessing the service. 

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study analysing the attendances of all adolescent female attendances at the 6 SATUs in the Republic of Ireland and comparing them with all adult female attendances between 1/1/2017 and 31/12/2022.

Results: There were 1014 female adolescent attendances and 3951 female adult attendances consecutively over the timeframe studied. Adult attenders were more likely to attend within 7-days of the alleged assault compared with adolescent attenders (80.3% p < 0.001). When compared with adult attenders, adolescent attenders were significantly more likely to disclose being assaulted outdoors (40.9% p < 0.01), during the day (58.4% p < 0.01), assaulted by a friend/family member (28.9% p < 0.01) and less likely to have consumed alcohol prior to the incident (45.6% p < 0.001). Physical injuries were less likely in adolescent attenders (30% p = 0.02).

Conclusion: A comparison of the characteristics of adolescent and adult female sexual assault disclosures identifies differences regarding location of the incident, relationship to perpetrator and prevalence of alcohol consumption. Knowledge of these factors support appropriate tailoring of treatment, prevention and awareness strategies to help modify the impact and reduce the incidence of SA in the vulnerable adolescent cohort.

Repository Staff Only: item control page