Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
GUIMARAES, João Alfredo Tenório Lins and VILLELA, Wilza Vieira. Characteristics of physical and sexual violence against children and adolescents examined at the Forensic Medicine Institute in Maceió, Alagoas State, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2011, vol.27, n.8, pp. 1647-1653. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2011000800019.
The purpose of this study was to characterize cases of violence against children and adolescents examined at the Forensic Medicine Institute in Maceió, Alagoas State, Brazil. Three hundred and three cases from September, 2008 to March, 2009, were analyzed. Victims were interviewed and data were collected on the type of violence, victim's gender, age, schooling, and economic class, maternal schooling, characteristics of the aggressor and person reporting the case, location, and repeat offenses. Violence against children and adolescents in this sample was concentrated in lower income groups, and girls were victimized more frequently than boys. Most perpetrators were non-relatives, but known to the family. Sexual abuse was more common among younger children, while physical assault was more common against adolescents. The victim's home was the most frequent site of the violence. Further studies are needed to determine whether violence in other socioeconomic groups and against males actually does not occur, or whether it simply is not reported to the Forensic Medicine Institute and thus remains invisible.
Keywords : Agression; Violence; Sexual Violence; Adolescent; Child.