Print this page Email this page
Users Online: 513
Home About us Editorial board Search Ahead of print Current issue Archives Submit article Instructions Contacts Login 


 
 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187-190

Child sexual assault: A study in Manipur


Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Manipur, India

Date of Web Publication19-Feb-2014

Correspondence Address:
Thounaojam Meera
Department of Forensic Medicine, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur
India
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4958.127389

Rights and Permissions
  Abstract 

Background: Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable victims of sexual assault even though no age is considered safe. The aim of the present study was to determine the socio-demographic characteristics of sexually assaulted children in Manipur, the relationship between the victim and the assailant, and the pattern of the injuries sustained by the victims. Materials and Methods: This retrospective descriptive study was carried out in our department and all cases of child sexual assault (below 18 years of age) brought for examination during January 2005 to December 2011 have been considered. The history given by the victims or parents or relatives and the police were recorded; general as well as local examination findings were noted and the data collected were analyzed. Results: Out of the total 144 cases of sexual assault, 51.4% were child victims. Nearly, 29.73% of the cases were constituted by children below 12 years while 31.08% and 39.19% were children of 12 to <15 years and 15 to <18 years respectively. The mean age of the victims was 12.4 years. Most of the cases (40.54%) occurred in the house of the assailant or his friend; however, children below 15 years (16.22%) were sexually assaulted in their houses. Almost, 78.4% of the assailants were known to the victims and only 9.5% had stranger assailants. Majority of the cases (89.15%) occurred during the afternoon or early evening. Nearly, 14.8% of the cases showed associated external injuries. Hymenal tear was present in 60.8% of the cases and 16.2% had vulval injuries. Conclusion: Child sexual offence is on the rise in this part of the country. Spreading of awareness to encourage early reporting, stringent punishment to the perpetrators and immediate proper care and protection of such innocent victims remain key factors to deal with this heinous crime.

Keywords: Assailant, Children, Injuries, Sexual assault


How to cite this article:
Maring SK, Meera T, Singh TB, Nabachandra H. Child sexual assault: A study in Manipur. J Med Soc 2013;27:187-90

How to cite this URL:
Maring SK, Meera T, Singh TB, Nabachandra H. Child sexual assault: A study in Manipur. J Med Soc [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Oct 25];27:187-90. Available from: https://www.jmedsoc.org/text.asp?2013/27/3/187/127389


  Introduction Top


Sexual assault is a heinous and dreadful crime, and children and adolescents are the most vulnerable victims of sexual assault even though no age is considered safe. Sexual offences in India are covered under different sections of Indian Penal Code and it does not distinguish between adult and child victims. However, the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, which has been recently drafted to strengthen the legal provisions for the protection of children from sexual abuse and exploitation, defines a child as any person below the age of 18 years and provides protection to all children under the age of 18 years from the offences of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pornography. According to a study published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007, India has the world's largest number of sexually abused children; children below 16 years are raped every 155 th min and below 10 years are raped every 13 th h and there is severe under-reporting of such crimes. [1] The present study was undertaken to determine the socio-demographic characteristics of sexually assaulted children in Manipur, the relationship between the victim and the assailant, and the pattern of the injuries sustained by the victims.


  Materials and Methods Top


This retrospective descriptive study was carried out in the Forensic Medicine department of Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal and all cases of child sexual assault (below 18 years of age) brought for examination during January 2005 to December 2011 have been considered. The history given by the victims or parents or relatives and the police were recorded; general as well as local examination findings were noted and the data collected were analyzed.


  Results Top


Out of the total 144 cases of sexual assault, 51.4% were child victims as shown in [Figure 1]. The number of child victims increased from 6.5% in 2006 to 29.7% in 2011 [Figure 2]. Female child victims (98.7%) outnumbered their male counterparts (1.3%) and the majority of the child victims were Meiteis (68.9%) followed by non-Manipuri(13.5%) as shown in [Figure 3] and [Figure 4]. As shown in [Figure 5], 29.73% of the cases were constituted by children below 12 years while 31.08% and 39.19% were children of 12 to <15 years and 15 to <18 years respectively. The mean age of the victims in the present study was 12.4 years. Most of the cases (40.54%) occurred in the house of the assailant or his friend; however, children below 15 years (16.22%) were sexually assaulted in their houses [Table 1]. Only a few cases of child sexual assault occurred in the night and the majority of the cases (89.15%) occurred during the afternoon or early evening [Table 2]. It is evident from [Figure 6] that 78.4% of the assailants were known to the victims and only 9.5% had stranger assailants. Nearly, 14.8% of the cases showed associated external injuries while 75.7% had genital injuries and only a case of sodomy showed anal injuries [Figure 7]. Hymenal tear was present in 60.8% of the cases and 16.2% had vulval injuries [Figure 8].
Table 1: Distribution of place of occurrence in relation to the age of the victims

Click here to view
Table 2: Time of occurrence in relation to the age of the victims

Click here to view
Figure 1 : No. of child victims of sexual assault during 2005-2011

Click here to view
Figure 2 : Year wise distribution of child victims of sexual assault

Click here to view
Figure 3 : Sex distribution of child victims

Click here to view
Figure 4 : Caste incidence

Click here to view
Figure 5 : Age distribution of child victims. Mean age =12.4 years

Click here to view
Figure 6 : Relationship of the assailant and the victim

Click here to view
Figure 7 : Injuries sustained

Click here to view
Figure 8 : Genital Injuries sustained by the victims

Click here to view



  Discussion Top


In the study published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007 covering 12,447 children and 2324 young adults across 13 states, it was observed that more than 53% children report facing one or more forms of sexual abuse in India. [1] Interestingly, in the present study, 51% of cases of the sexual assaults were constituted by child victims. However, what is more distressing is that sexual offence against child victims is on the rise during the past few years. Even though, no age is safe from rape, Malhotra and Sood [2] reported that the majority (76.9%) of victims in their study were adolescents. In another study by Islam et al., [3] it was reported that 33.5% of victim were between 12 and 15 years. These findings may be compared with the findings of the present study where 29.73% of the cases were children below 12 years while 31.08% were children between 12 and <15 years. The mean age of the child victims was 11.9 years in a study by Emmert and Köhler [4] while it was 9.5 years in a study by Ononge et al.; [5] however, the mean age was slightly higher in our study where it was 12.4 years.

Female child victims (98.7%) outnumbered their male counterparts (1.3%) in our study. In studies conducted in the United States, it has been observed that females are more likely than males to experience child sexual abuse and 12-40% of females and 4-16.5% of males have experienced at least one instance of sexual abuse in childhood or adolescence [6],[7] In previous studies in the state by several workers, [8],[9],[10] it was observed that the majority of the victims were Meiteis. This is in concurrence with the findings of the present study and this may be due to Meitei dominance of the local population in Manipur.

The most common site of the offence was the victim's home in a study by Grossin et al. [11] This is in contrast to the findings of the present study where only 17.56% of the cases occurred in the victim's house and 92.3% of these children were below 15 years. Interestingly, most of the sexual assaults (40.54%) occurred in the house of the assailant or his friend in this study and this may be compared with the findings of Ononge et al. [5] where 50% of the cases of sexual assaults occurred in the house of the assailant. Most of the cases of child sexual assault occurred in the afternoon and early evening in this study. Workers such as Ononge et al. [5] and Momonchand et al. [9] also found similar findings. This may be explained by the fact that most of the parents go for work during these times of the day and the children are left at home without the watchful eyes of the parents, which served as a good opportunity for the assailants.

Several workers [3],[8],[10],[12] have observed that most of the sexual assaults were committed by known assailants. This may be compared with the findings of this study where only 9.5% of the cases had stranger assailants and 78.4% of the assailants were known to the victims. It is easier for a known person to convince or lure a child for commission of the offence.

In this study, it was observed that only 11 cases had external injuries and these injuries were seen in children of 15 and <18 years and this is explained by the fact these grown up children sustained injuries while trying to defend themselves from the assailants. The absence of injuries in smaller children could be attributed to the much disproportionate physical power between the assailant and the victim or inability of the child to understand the act, especially in cases of smaller children.

In the vulval region, there were significant of contusion in 16.2% of the cases and these injuries were seen mostly in smaller children below 9 years, and it indicates the attempt of forceful penetration in a small child. In children below 12 years, only 2 cases showed old hymenal tear which could be attributed to the late reporting of the cases. This is in accordance with the findings of Roy Chowdhury et al. [13] However, in older children of 12 and <18 years, there were more old hymenal tears and this could be due to repeated offences and late reporting.


  Conclusion Top


Child sexual offence is on the rise in this part of the country. However, sexual assault cases remain unreported because of the social stigma associated with it. Hence, spreading of awareness to encourage early reporting, stringent punishment to the perpetrators and immediate proper care and protection of such innocent victims remain key factors to deal with this heinous crime.

 
  References Top

1.Study on Child Abuse: India 2007. Published by the ministry of women and child development. Available from: http://wcd.nic.in/childabuse.pdf. [Last accessed on 2012 Dec 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Malhotra N, Sood M. Sexual assault - A neglected public health problem in the developing world. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2000;71:257-8.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.Islam MN, See KL, Ting LC, Khan J. Pattern of sexual offences attended at accident and emergency department of HUSM from year 2000 to 2003: A Retrospective study. Malays J Med Sci 2006;13:30-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Emmert C, Köhler U. Data about 154 children and adolescents reporting sexual assault. Arch Gynecol Obstet 1998;261:61-70.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Ononge S, Wandabwa J, Kiondo P, Busingye R. Clinical presentation and management of alleged sexually assaulted females at Mulago hospital, Kampala, Uganda. Afr Health Sci 2005;5:50-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    
6.Finkelhor D. The prevention of childhood sexual abuse. Future Child 2009;19:169-94.  Back to cited text no. 6
[PUBMED]    
7.Kress VE, Adamson NA, Yensel J. The use of therapeutic stories in counseling child and adolescent sexual abuse survivors. J Creat Ment Health 2010;5:243-59.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Fimate L, Meera TH. Rape in Manipur an analytical study. Int J Med Toxicol Leg Med 1998;1:49-54.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Momonchand A, Pradipkumar KH. Alleged rape in and around Imphal. J Indian Acad Forensic Med 2003;25:147-9.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Bijoy TH, Pradipkumar KH, Lepcha OT. A study of child rape in Manipur. J Indian Acad Forensic Med 2006;28:135-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.Grossin C, Sibille I, Lorin de la Grandmaison G, Banasr A, Brion F, Durigon M. Analysis of 418 cases of sexual assault. Forensic Sci Int 2003;131:125-30.  Back to cited text no. 11
[PUBMED]    
12.Hassan Q, Bashir MZ, Mujahid M, Munawar AZ, Aslam M, Marri MZ. Medico-legal assessment of sexual assault victims in Lahore. J Pak Med Assoc 2007;57:539-42.  Back to cited text no. 12
[PUBMED]    
13.Roychowdhury VB, Bose TK, Prasad CR. Rape: its medicolegal and social aspect. J Indian Acad Forensic Med 2008;30:69-71.  Back to cited text no. 13
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7], [Figure 8]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

Top
 
 
  Search
 
Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
Access Statistics
Email Alert *
Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
  In this article
Abstract
Introduction
Materials and Me...
Results
Discussion
Conclusion
References
Article Figures
Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed7186    
    Printed98    
    Emailed0    
    PDF Downloaded289    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


[TAG2]
[TAG3]
[TAG4]