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Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences

DOI

10.3906/sag-0805-30

Abstract

Aim: Data on child maltreatment in Turkey would appear to be scarce. This manuscript aims to address the prevalence and severity of child maltreatment in Turkey. Materials and methods: We report on 215 cases at the Ministry of Health’s Ankara Training and Research Hospital that were followed-up by the multidisciplinary Child Protection Team (CPT) between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2005. The data collected on subjects included characteristics of the victims and the perpetrators, family demographics, maltreatment types, medical findings, mortality rate, and outcomes for the victim and the perpetrator. Results: Age and gender distribution of the victims were 6.8 ± 5.8 years and 58.1% girls. The perpetrators in 53.0% of the cases were the fathers, in 18.6% the mothers, and others in 28.4%. The categories of maltreatment were neglect in 39.5% of cases, physical abuse in 29.8%, psychological abuse in 21.4%, and sexual abuse in 9.3%. One hundred twenty cases (55.3%) were efficiently followed-up by the regional Social Service Agency (SSA). Re-abuse was reported in 8.3% of them. Following initial investigation of the 84 perpetrators, who were reported to the Forensic Medicine Institution by the Police Department, 17.8% were acquitted, 11.9% were convicted, and no legal action was taken for the rest. Conclusion: The knowledge and experience of the physician are extremely important for the diagnosis of child abuse and neglect. This study shows that a team approach to suspected cases of child abuse and neglect improves recognition and the reporting process.

First Page

969

Last Page

977

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