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Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

Irish Journal of Psychology, 20(1), 1999, pp. 15-27.


The following survey is an investigation into the nature, incidence and effects of childhood sexual abuse as experienced by a sample of third level students in Dublin. Unwanted sexual experiences whilst under the age of sixteen were surveyed. Response rates were high and indicate that unwanted sexual experiences prior to age sixteen are experienced by some 30% of female respondents. Indecent exposure was the most frequently reported experience. This figure falls considerably for contact and penetrative forms of abuse. Long term effects of non-contact forms of abuse were most frequently reported as embarrassment. More acute effects, such as suicidal tendencies, are associated with contact and penetrative abuse. Recommendations arising from these findings include empowerment of children through education strategies at both primary and secondary level.



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