Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Sexual abuse of children in Leeds.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986; 292 doi: (Published 26 April 1986) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1986;292:1113
  1. N J Wild


    Temporal trends in physical and sexual abuse of children within a geographically defined area were examined, and cases of suspected sexual abuse referred to paediatricians during 1984 were studied in detail. After remaining static for four years referrals due to all types of abuse trebled between 1979 and 1984, and referrals due to sexual abuse increased from none to 50 a year. In 1984, 50 children (39 girls) aged 1-16 were referred because of possible sexual abuse. Abuse was confirmed or considered to be likely in 30 (28 girls). The perpetrator was a male relative or family friend in 17 cases and a man participating in a child sex ring in seven cases. Physical examination often did not show anything remarkable, but three girls had venereal infections. These figures suggest that paediatricians and child psychiatrists will increasingly be presented with cases of sexual abuse in children.