Jordan University of Science and Technology

Sexual offenses among children in the North of Jordan: An exploratory study

Authors:  Shotar, A.M., Alzyoud, S., Oweis, A., Alhawamdeh, K.A., khoshnood, K.

Sexual offenses are an important global health problem threatening people of all age groups. There are no reported studies regarding sexual violence among children in Jordan. Therefore, this study aimed to examine the problem of sexual violence among children in the Northern region of Jordan. A retrospective design was adopted to review all reports from the Forensic Medicine Teaching Center of North of Jordan clinic on cases of sexual-related assaults that occurred between 2003 and 2007. Reports were reviewed for age, gender, toxicological analysis, and relevant information provided by victims and their relatives. Results indicated that 53% of the cases were male victims, with a male to female ratio of 1:1. Ages ranged from 3 to 18 years with a mean age of 12.5 years. Most cases were considered indecent assaults, while 37.1% were cases of rape. In most cases, offenders were strangers. It could be concluded that Jordanian children are as susceptible to sexual assaults as their counterparts worldwide. This study is the first to report sexual offenses among children in Jordan. As such, it provides baseline data that can be used to inform policy and prevention strategies focused on reducing sexual violence among this vulnerable segment of the Jordanian population.