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.
- Child sexual abuse
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health