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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-80

A preliminary study of self-reported childhood sexual abuse among college students from southern India

1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, SHKM Government Medical College, Nalhar, Haryana, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh, India
4 Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Vikas Gupta
Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Shahdol, Madhya Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/shb.shb_8_21

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Introduction: Childhood sexual abuse (CSA) is truly a multidimensional issue having long-lasting effect on subject's physical and psychological health. The study was conducted with an aim to study various aspects of self-reported childhood sexual abuse in a sample of students from South India. Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out during July to September 2018 among 399 students of two colleges located at Puducherry using a self-administered questionnaire. The desired sample size was calculated considering the proportion of college students suffered from childhood sexual abuse as 53.2%. In each college, the line listing of students from 1st year to final year was done and simple random sampling technique was used for selecting the study subjects. The study was initiated after obtaining institutional ethical approval, and every student was ensured of complete confidentiality and privacy. Results: Of total 399 students, 130 (32.7%) students reported experiencing one or other form of CSA. Majority (40.0%) did not inform or share the instance of CSA to anyone. Fear of negative consequences (48.1%) and feelings of guilt (32.7%) were two top most factors that made them not to inform such abuse to their family members. Conclusion: Approximately one-third of students reported an incident of sexual abuse at least once in his/her life in Puducherry; thus, roots of CSA are deep in the society in which we live.

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