Author(s): Pereda N, Guilera G, Forns M, GmezBenito J
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper was to compare the prevalence rates of child sexual abuse reported by [Finkelhor, D. (1994). The international epidemiology of child sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 18 (5), 409-417] with those found in recent publications in order to confirm the widespread prevalence of child sexual abuse. METHODS: Relevant articles about prevalence of child sexual abuse were identified through searches of computerized databases and a handsearch of Child Abuse & Neglect and the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. RESULTS: Thirty-eight independent articles were identified, corresponding to 39 prevalence studies; these articles report the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse in 21 different countries, ranging from 0 to 53\% for women and 0 to 60\% for men. CONCLUSIONS: Comparison of the present study with that of [Finkelhor, D. (1994). The international epidemiology of child sexual abuse. Child Abuse & Neglect, 18 (5), 409-417] shows a similarity between prevalence distributions; there appears to be a general pattern that remains more or less constant over the years, especially in women. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Twelve years after the first revision study about the international prevalence of child sexual abuse, there is still a need for new data about this topic. The present study shows child sexual abuse is still a widespread problem in the society. In this research, carried out on 38 independent studies, there is new data for 21 countries over the world, being especially relevant the results obtained from other countries different from those pertaining to North America or Europe. It is important to point out the high prevalence found in most of the countries, so this information could be a new warning to make society and governments aware of this problem and undertake actions to prevent sexual abuse in childhood.
This article was published in Child Abuse Negl
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior