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Prevalence and Patterns of Child Sexual Abuse in Selected Countries of Asia and Africa: A Review of Literature

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Abstract: Africa and Asia are among the regions with the highest rates of child sexual abuse (CSA) in the world. They also sharethe highest proportion of children under 18 with Asia alone accounting for 24 of children under 14 years of age and about 41 of the Africanpopulation are under the age of 15. Despite the magnitude of the problem, fewstudies have investigated CSA in these regions hence limiting appropriate andtimely response. Objectives: To describe the prevalence and patterns ofchild sexual abuse in Africa and Asia. Methods: This was a literature review study. Electronic database search wasperformed to select relevant materials on CSA published between 2000 and 2018.Electronic search articles were included in the review after screening forinclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: The study showed prevalence of CSA (broadly and narrowly defined) inAfrica to be from 2.1 - 68.7 for females in Tanzania and Ethiopia and 4.1 - 60 for males in SouthAfrica. The prevalence in Asia ranges from 3.3 - 42.7 for females in China and India respectively and 4.3 - 58 for males in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. The rates for contact CSA among femalesin Asia are from 1.9 - 59.2 in China and India and 1.8 - 9.1 for males in China whilefor non-contact abuse ranges from 1.8 - 28.7 for females in China and India and3.1 - 29.4 for males in China. The findings in both regions suggest high riskof victimization in pre-pubertal and late adolescent, however, pre-pubertalvictimization is much higher in Africa. Victim’s home and public area found tobe high risk places for abuse in both regions. Relatives comprise commonperpetrators in Asia while friends were most cited in Africa. Conclusions: The results highlight high rate of CSA in Africa and Asia calling forcomprehensive approach for its prevention. Future research should focus more onpopulation-based studies and using comparable methodology.

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