Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: A study on child sexual abuse in Galle – a descriptive retrospective study


A- A+
Alt. Display

Research Articles

A study on child sexual abuse in Galle – a descriptive retrospective study


R. H. A. I. Rathnaweera ,

Faculty of Medicine, Galle, LK
About R. H. A. I.
Department of Forensic Medicine
X close

K. R. Munasingha,

Teaching hospital, Galle, LK
About K. R.
JMO’s office
X close

D. Amarasingha

Teaching hospital, Galle, LK
About D.
JMO’s office
X close


Introduction: The estimation of any form of deviance in the general population is a very difficult task. It is impossible to assess the extent of sexual offending, either in general or with children as targets. Therefore an in depth study should be conducted to explore the real situation.


Objective: Routine data pertaining to victims of alleged child sexual abuse (CSA) were analyzed to explain the nature and characteristics of people, place, time, and patterns of CSA with special reference to injuries.


Materials and Methods: All the CSA cases referred to the JMO’s office, Teaching hospital, Karapitiya form 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2015 were retrospectively analyzed.


Results: During the study period, 296 victims were referred, 281 were female. 210 (70%) were between 11 to 15 years and majority (88%) were belonging to lower socio-economic classes. 173 (59%) female victims “consented” for the alleged act whereas none of the male victims did. Majority of female sexual abuse offenders were aged below 25 years whereas for male, aged above 35 years (p>0.05). Ano-genital injuries in female victims at presentation is more frequent compared to male victims (p>0.05). 116(41%) female victims had hymenal tears, out of that, only 18 are fresh tears. 14 victims complained of alleged anal abuse but only 2 had identifiable injuries. Extra genital injuries were present only in female victims (1.5%). Only 57(20%) presented with original clothing & only 20(6.7%) presented within first 24 hours. Spermatozoa were identified only in 6 referred cases to government analyst.


Conclusions: Children below 16 years of age from lower socio-economic group were more prone to sexual abuse. The given “consent” and delayed presentation could be a reason for lack of injuries in both groups. Young males have shown preference for female victims whereas older males have shown preference for younger boys. Low positive spermatozoa identification could be due to delayed presentation & baths and changing clothes prior to referral. Steps needed to be taken to speed up the referral of victims with their original clothing in order to prevent loss of valuable evidence.
How to Cite: Rathnaweera RHAI, Munasingha KR, Amarasingha D. A study on child sexual abuse in Galle – a descriptive retrospective study. Sri Lanka Anatomy Journal. 2017;1(1):34–43. DOI:
Published on 30 Jun 2017.
Peer Reviewed


  • PDF (EN)

    comments powered by Disqus