The prevalence of a history of child sexual abuse among adults visiting family practitioners in Israel

Moshe Schein, Aya Biderman, Mario Baras, Larry Bennett, Bishara Bisharat, Jeff Borkan, Yaacov Fogelman, Lois Gordon, Dov Steinmetz, Eli Kitai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the prevalence of a history of child sexual abuse (CSA) in a random sample of adult patients presenting for routine health care to family practice clinics in Israel. Method: One thousand and five randomly selected patients aged 18 to 55, attending 48 clinics, participated in this questionnaire study. Results: Twenty-five percent indicated that they had been sexually abused as children. More women reported CSA (p <. 0001) than men, as did women originating from Western countries (p =. 02) and those with more than 12 years of education (p =. 01). There were no significant associations between CSA and the other socio-demographic variables examined. Fondling was the most common and intercourse the least common activity experienced. Forty-five percent of the perpetrators were previously known. The mean age at which the child sexual abuse began varied between 10 and 14. Only 45% of the subjects had ever told anyone about the experience. Conclusions: Since no other prevalence study has been reported to date in Israel, these findings suggest that as in other Western countries CSA is a relatively common problem. Family physicians and other health professionals should be aware of this high prevalence and its known potential for initial and long-term deleterious outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-675
Number of pages9
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Child sexual abuse
  • Israel
  • Prevalence
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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