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Prevalence and Consequences of Child Sexual Abuse in Spain

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 19 Issue: 9 Dated: (September 1995) Pages: 1039-1050
F Lopez; E Carpintero; A Hernandez; M J Martin; Y A Fuertes
Date Published
12 pages
The prevalence of child sexual abuse in Spain and its long-term and short-term effects were studied using information from a sample of 1,821 persons selected through proportional stratified random sampling of Spanish society.
Data were obtained by interviews (Personal History of Sexual Abuse) conducted in the participants' homes and by means of a self-report questionnaire, which the interviewer gave the participant to return by mail. Results revealed that 15 percent of the males and 22 percent of the females had been sexually abused before age 17. The short-term effects were a lack of trust, disgust, fear, hostility toward the aggressor, shame, and anxiety. The long-term effects were a greater tendency toward mental health problems and other problems throughout the life cycle. These included running away from home, school failure, sexual dissatisfaction, and drug abuse. The high prevalence and the clear long-term and short-term effects make prevention programs and victim services advisable. Tables and 16 references (Author abstract modified)