This study uses data from the 2012 Violence Against Children and Youth Survey (VACS) in Haiti. The data were used to find out whether some information could be used to accurately identify girls at high risk of future sexual abuse.
This paper focuses on sentinel events in a child’s life – defined as episodes of unwanted sexual touching or attempted (but not completed) sex – and their ability to predict later completed, unwanted sex. Sentinel events included unwanted sexual touching, or touching or fondling against a victim’s will, and unwanted attempted sex, defined as trying to make the victim have sex without permission but not succeeding. These sentinel events were used to predict two types of sexual violence: pressured sex, defined as being coerced in a non-physical manner to have unwanted sex, and forced sex, or being physically forced to have sex.
Research Brief: Early reporting of sexual violence risk in Haiti may identify victims at risk for future violence
What is added by this report?
Among girls in Haiti, sentinel events occur frequently before later acts of completed unwanted sex and may represent a useful point of intervention. Few children disclose their experiences of sexual touching and attempted forced sex. Disclosure could be improved to better
act on sentinel events and prevent future experiences of sexual violence.