This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of trauma in sexual assault victims aged 15 years and less referred to legal medicine centers of Fars Province, Iran.
This descriptive cross-sectional was carried out on all female victims of sexual assault aged 15 years old and less referred to legal medicine centers of Fars, Iran, during 2006 - 2012. The study population consisted of 3140 victims that was reduced to 2113 due to incomplete records of some cases. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used in SPSS, version 16.
The prevalence of teenage victims was 32.01%. The highest frequency was reported in 2006 and the next highest rate was reported in 2011. The ordinal place of the victims in family was between 4 and 6 in 79% of the cases. All the crimes happened in cities. In 6.4% of the cases, victims had experienced sexual assault. In 90.1% of the cases, criminals were aged 16 - 25 years old, and in 40.3% of the cases, they were familiar and had familial relationship with the victim. Sexual traumas in 57.1% of the cases were hymen tear and in 11.8% cases anal tear.
Most adolescent sexual assaults remain hidden from the law because of fear of exclusion from the family and society. Therefore, community awareness regarding the prevalence of rape should be raised, and the necessary steps should be taken by the authorities and families to control this crime. Enforcing severe punishments for offenders can be considered as a preventive measure.