Friday 23 March 2018

Babies among 73 children who attended sexual assault clinic in 2016

University Hospital Galway
University Hospital Galway
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Babies as young as one-years'-old were among the 73 children who attended a sexual assault treatment centre in 2016.

A report by the HSE shows that three babies aged one-years'-old attended the centre in Galway seeking treatment for a sexual assault.

Among the 73 children, there were also five two-year-olds, 15 three-year-olds, seven four-year-olds and four five-year-olds.

The age profile of the 73 children who attended the sexual assault treatment centre Image: HSE SATU Annual Report 2016

The report shows that all 73 children who were seeking medical attention after a sexual assault, were under the age of 17.

Some 56 (77pc) were female and 17 (23pc) were male.

The gender of the patient Image: HSE SATU Annual Report 2016

The Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Services (CASATS) in Galway University Hospital provides an integrated forensic medical service for children (under 14) both male and female, who are victims of rape or sexual assault or suspected child sexual abuse.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for patients who report an assault to the gardaí or social services.

There are other treatment units in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Mullingar, Limerick and Waterford.

However, this is the only one that specifically caters for those under the age of 14.

The CASATS accepts referrals in relation to children resident in counties served by the Saolta Hospitals Group including children from Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

Only 18 children who were referred to the Galway centre were from Galway. Some 17 were from Donegal, six were from Limerick and one was referred from Dublin.

satu country breakdown.PNG
The county where the child was referred from Image: HSE SATU Annual Report 2016

Thursday was the most common day for children to attend the clinic in 2016.

The figures show that seven per cent of the presented sex cases in 2016 were carried out by another child, while 11pc were carried out by teenage attackers.

satu assailant.PNG
Relationship to the alleged assailant Image: HSE SATU Annual Report 2016

Almost 50pc of cases involved adult male assailants, of whom 39pc were the child’s biological father.

Some three (4pc) cases involved adult female assailants.

One case involved an adult male and an adult female assailant.

Of the 73 children who attended the centre, 64 (87.5pc) patients had an STI screen. is awaiting comment from thee HSE and Tusla.

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