Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
MARTINS, Christine Baccarat de Godoy and JORGE, Maria Helena Prado de Mello. Physical abuse of minors under 15: epidemiological study in a city in the south of Brazil. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2009, vol.12, n.3, pp.325-337. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2009000300004.
OBJECTIVES: to build the epidemiological profile of deliberate violence against minors under 15 years of age in Londrina, Paraná in 2006. METHODS: cross-sectional study with retrospective data collected from the records of Tutelary Councils and care services in the city. Data were processed and tabulated with Epi Info software. RESULTS: 479 cases of violence by use of physical force and 9 cases of violence by others means (7 by instruments, 1 by cutting object and 1 by corrosive substance) were studied. Most victims of physical force were female (53.4%) and the highest risk age was 6 (12.2 per 1,000). The father was the main aggressor (48.8%) and alcoholism was present in 64.0% of cases. Violence by instrument was inflicted with belt (42.9%), wire (28.6%), iron (14.3%), or kitchen tool (14.3%), mainly with 85.7% female victims in the 12 year-old age group (33.3%). Father (71.4%) and mother (28.6%) were the only aggressors, with alcoholism present in 57.1% of the situations. The victim of violence with a cutting device was a 13 year-old male, the aggressor was unknown and between 15 and 19 years of age. Violence by a corrosive substance victimized a male adolescent aged 13. The aggressor was the alcoholic father. CONCLUSION: outcomes point toward the epidemiological importance of physical abuse of children and adolescents, and can contribute to structure strategies to prevent child abuse and follow-up victims.
Keywords : Violence; Maltreatment; Physical Aggression; Physical Abuse; Child; Adolescent.