Multiple sexual abuse among children in Kaduna State, North-western Nigeria: Does victim’s gender play a role?


  • Auwal G. Suleiman Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria; Institute of Child Health, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria



Child sexual abuse, Multiple victimization, Re-victimization, Poly-victimization


Background: Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a human rights violation that affects millions of children globally. Many children continue to suffer sexual abuse, often due to non-disclosure of abuse. Disclosure is influenced by gender and the aim of this study was to assess whether gender was associated with multiple CSA experience.

Methods: Data for this study came from a review of 420 medical reports retrieved from one of seven police area commands in Kaduna State, over a period of four years (2018-2021). Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests were used to check for associations between multiple CSA experience and socio-demographic characteristics of the victims and their assailants at p value less than 0.05.

Results: Among all victims, multiple CSA experience was significantly associated with male gender (χ2=11.99, p=0.001) and familiarity with assailant (χ2=13.63, p<0.001). Among male victims only, multiple CSA experience was not significantly associated with age of victim, familiarity with assailant, age of assailant or number of assailants (P>0.05). However, among female victims, multiple CSA experience was significantly associated with older age of victims (χ2=8.57, p=0.036), being familiar with the assailant (χ2=14.78, p<0.001) and older age of assailant (χ2 =8.13, p=0.017).

Conclusions: Male gender was significantly associated with multiple CSA experience. Important associations between multiple CSA experience and socio-demographic characteristics of both the victims and their assailants were demonstrated among female but not male victims. More studies are needed to further understand these associations and provide recommendations.


World Health Organization. Report of the Consultation on Child Abuse Prevention. Geneva (Switzerland); 1999.

Yahaya I, Soares J, Leon AP, Macassa G. A comparative study of the socioeconomic factors associated with childhood sexual abuse in sub-Saharan Africa. Pan Afr Med J. 2012;11(51):1-8.

Singh MM, Parsekar SS, Nair SN. An Epidemiological Overview of Child Sexual Abuse. J Fam Med Prim Care. 2014;3(4):430-5.

Hillis S, Mercy J, Amobi A, Kress H. Global Prevalence of Past-year Violence Against Children: A Systematic Review and Minimum Estimates. Pediatrics. 2016;137(3):e20154079.

Pereda N, Guilera G, Forns M, Gómez-Benito J. The prevalence of child sexual abuse in community and student samples: A meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev. 2009;29(4):328-38.

Abdulkadir I, Musa HH, Umar LW, Musa M, Jimoh WA, Aliyu NM. Child Sexual Abuse in Minna, Niger State Nigeria. Niger Med J. 2011;52(2):79-82.

Bugaje MA, Ogunrinde GO, Faruq JA. Child sexual abuse in Zaria, North-western Nigeria. Niger J Paediatr. 2012;39(3):110-4.

Chinawa JM, Ibekwe RC, Ibekwe MU, Obi E, Mouneke VU, Obu DC et al. Prevalence and pattern of sexual abuse among children attending Ebonyi State University Teaching Hospital, Abakiliki, Ebonyi State. Niger J Paediatr. 2013;40(3):227-31.

Olatunya OS, Akintayo AA, Olofinbiyi B, Isinkaye AO, Ogundare EO, Akinboboye O. Pattern and medical care of child victims of sexual abuse in Ekiti, south-western Nigeria. Paediatr Int Heal. 2013;33(4):247-52.

Hassan M, Awosan KJ, Panti AA, Nasir S, Tunau K, Umar AG, et al. Prevalence and pattern of sexual assault in Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria. Pan Afr Med J. 2016;24(332):1-7.

David N, Ezechi O, Wapmuk A, Gbajabiamila T, Ohihoin A, Herbertson E et al. Child sexual abuse and disclosure in South Western Nigeria: A community based study. Afr Health Sci. 2018;18(2):199-208.

Manyike PC, Chinawa JM, Aniwada E, Udechukwu NP, Odutola OI, Chinawa AT. Child sexual abuse among adolescents in southeast Nigeria: A concealed public health behavioral issue. Pakistan J Med Sci. 2015;31(4):827-32.

Chime OH, Orji CJ, Aneke TJ, Nwoke IN. Prevalence, Pattern and Predictors of Child Sexual Abuse Among Senior Secondary School Students in Enugu Metropolis. Malaysian J Med Sci. 2021;28(4):123-37.

UNICEF Nigeria. Child Protection. Child Protection in Nigeria. 2017;1-14. Available at: Accessed on 20 January, 2023.

Abdulkadir I, Umar L, Musa H, Musa S, Oyeniyi O, Ayoola-Williams O et al. Child sexual abuse: A review of cases seen at General Hospital Suleja, Niger State. Ann Niger Med. 2011;5(1):15.

Ige OK, Fawole OI. Evaluating the Medical Care of Child Sexual Abuse Victims in a General Hospital in Ibadan, Nigeria. Ghana Med J. 2012;46(1):22-6.

Olafson E. Child Sexual Abuse: Demography, Impact, and Interventions. J Child Adolesc Trauma. 2011;4:8-21.

Briere JN, Elliott DM. Immediate Long-Term Impacts of Child Sexual Abuse. Futur Child. 1994;4(2):54-69.

Mii AE, McCoy K, Coffey HM, Meidlinger K, Huit TZ, Flood MF et al. Attention Problems and Comorbid Symptoms following Child Sexual Abuse. J Child Sex Abus. 2020;1-20.

McElvaney R, Moore K, Reilly KO, Turner R, Walsh B, Guerin S. Child sexual abuse disclosures: Does age make a difference? Child Abuse Negl. 2020;99:104121.

McElvaney R. Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse: Delays, Non-disclosure and Partial Disclosure. What the Research Tells Us and Implications for Practice. Child Abus Rev. 2013;24(3):159-69.

Ebuenyi ID, Chikezie UE, Dariah GO. Implications of Silence in the Face of Child Sexual Abuse: Observations from Yenagoa, Nigeria. Afr J Reprod Health. 2018;22(2):83-7.

Kellogg ND, Koek W, Nienow SM. Factors that prevent, prompt, and delay disclosures in female victims of child sexual abuse. Child Abuse Negl. 2020;101:104360.

Tang SS, Freyd JJ, Wang M. What Do We Know About Gender in the Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse? J Psychol Trauma. 2007;6(4):1-26.

Beitchman JH, Zucker KJ, Hood JE, Dacosta GA, Akman D. A Review of the Short-term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse. Child Abuse Negl. 1991;15:537-56.

Finkelhor D, Ormrod RK, Turner HA. Re-victimization patterns in a national longitudinal sample of children and youth. Child Abuse Negl. 2007;31:479-502.

Black DA, Heyman RE, Slep AS. Risk factors for child sexual abuse. Aggress Violent Behav. 2001;6(2001):203-29.

Debowska A, Willmott D, Boduszek D, Jones AD. What do we know about child abuse and neglect patterns of co-occurrence? A systematic review of profiling studies and recommendations for future research. Child Abuse Negl. 2017;70:100-11.

Fergusson DM, Horwood JL, Lynskey MT. Childhood Sexual Abuse, Adolescent Sexual Behaviors and Sexual Revictimization. Child Abuse Negl. 1997;21(8):789-803.

Ackard DM, Neumark-Sztainer D. Multiple Sexual Victimizations Among Adolescent Boys and Girls: Prevalence and Associations with Eating Behaviors and Psychological Health. J Child Sex Abus. 2002;12(1):37-41.

Opydo-Szymaczek J, Jarząbek-Bielecka G, Kedzia W, Borysewicz-Lewicka M. Child sexual abuse as an etiological factor of overweight and eating disorders-considerations for primary health care providers. Ginekol Pol. 2018;89(1):48-54.

Classen CC, Palesh OG, Aggarwal R. Sexual Revictimization: A Review of the Empirical Literature. Trauma, violence, Abus. 2005;6(2):103-29.

Garba AS. Child sexual abuse in Kaduna State, Northwestern Nigeria: A review of 420 police-reported cases. J Child Sex Abus. 2023;32(2):241-58.

Stoltenborgh M, Ijzendoorn MH, Euser EM, Bakermans-Kranenburg MJ. A Global Perspective on Child Sexual Abuse: Meta-Analysis of Prevalence Around the World. Child Maltreat. 2011;16(2):79-101.

Okur P, Knaap LM, Bogaerts S. A Quantitative Study on Gender Differences in Disclosing Child Sexual Abuse and Reasons for Nondisclosure. J Interpers Violence. 2017;1-21.

Kessler BL, Bieschke KJ. A Retrospective Analysis of Shame, Dissociation, and Adult Victimization in Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse. J Cunseling Psychol. 1999;46(3):335-41.




How to Cite

Suleiman, A. G. (2023). Multiple sexual abuse among children in Kaduna State, North-western Nigeria: Does victim’s gender play a role?. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 10(4), 1316–1321.



Original Research Articles