Birhanu Kebede



Background: Sexual violence against women is a significant public health issue globally. The importance of medical evidence for decisions made by legal bodies is immense and is documented in high-resource countries. It is not clear what interventions work best in low resource countries like Ethiopia.

Objectives: To describe the medico legal findings of sexual assault cases and its association with legal outcome among victims of sexual violence cases in Addis Ababa.

Methods: This study conducted a retrospective cross sectional descriptive study in the ten sub cities of Addis Ababa assessing a one-year record of sexual assault that were reported between January 1,2012 and 31 December, 2012. Samples of 224 sexual assault cases were drawn from 10 police stations in the sub cities. Data were collected from standardized police charts and court records. The OR and 95% CI estimates were also used to compare outcome predictors. Logistic regression was done to determine the association between medico legal finding and predictors of outcome with conviction.

Results: The charge filing and conviction rates of the police-reported cases were 76.8% and 58.9%, respectively. The odds for conviction was more than six times more likely in unknown perpetrator and more than eight times more likely in cases where there was positive evidence of spermatozoa.

Conclusions: There was high charge filing and conviction rate. Sexual assaults by unknown assailant and visualization of sperm by direct microscopy were associated with conviction.

Recommendations: Qualitative study to survey police, prosecutors, physicians and judges regarding the usefulness of medical-legal evidence is recommended.



(Ethiopian Journal of Reproductive Health 2018;10:1--14)




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