Objective To study the prevalence of juvenile victimisation in a group of young adults. Method A juvenile victimisation questionnaire was distributed among 1322 Sri Lankan undergraduates. The questionnaire consisted of different modules (child maltreatment, conventional crime, peer-sibling victimisation, indirect victimisation, introduction to substances and parental deprivation). Results The response rate was 90%. The mean age of the cohort was 21.8 years. 59% were females. 44% and 36% had experienced sexual and physical maltreatment respectively. In both categories males were affected more than females (p < 0.001). Physical abuse had commonly taken place at school (51%) and home (40%). Witnessing violence at home was the highest form of indirect victimisation (66%). 10% were introduced to substances in childhood. Usage of substances (cigarettes, alcohol and drugs) was significantly higher in children whose fathers used substances compared to children whose fathers did not (p < 0.001). Conclusion Many children in Sri Lanka are exposed to victimisation. They seem to suffer these in the very environments that should be nurturing and protecting them.
Key words: juvenile victimisation, child maltreatment, Sri Lanka
How to Cite:
Fernando, A.D. & Karunasekera, W., (2009). Juvenile victimisation in a group of young Sri Lankan adults. Ceylon Medical Journal. 54(3), pp.80–84. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cmj.v54i3.1200