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Medicina Legal de Costa Rica

versión On-line ISSN 2215-5287versión impresa ISSN 1409-0015


ACUNA NAVAS, María José. Abuso sexual en menores de edad: generalidades, consecuencias y prevención. Med. leg. Costa Rica [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.1, pp.57-69. ISSN 2215-5287.

Childhood sexual abuse is a type of child maltreatment with the worst consequences upon their victims and usually coexists with other types of violence. It includes actions which do not involve physical contact, as well as those that do, thus embracing a wide variety of possibilities. Objective: Due to the topic´s magnitude, this review was made in order to address the importance of childhood sexual abuse, its general facts, consequences and preventive measures. Data synthesis: Sexual abuse is frequent. Victims are usually women although there are some risk factors that predispose certain children to be victims themselves and offenders are generally related to the child. Short- and long-term consequences comprise every aspect of the human being and their magnitude depends on different factors. There are primary and secondary preventive measures that range from educational programmes and media campaigns to justice system strategies. Conclusions: More information about childhood sexual abuse is needed and it is indispensable to get rid of this subject´s stereotypes in order to detect suspected cases of abuse on time. Every victim must be assured an individualized attention after the abuse so as to ameliorate the consequences. Sexual abuse shall be approached from different perspectives and we are all in charge of fighting against it.

Palabras clave : Sexual abuse; childhood; general facts; consequences; prevention.

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