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J Child Sex Abus. 2016;25(2):142-58. doi: 10.1080/10538712.2016.1123791. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Lifetime Prevalence and Characteristics of Child Sexual Victimization in a Community Sample of Spanish Adolescents.

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a Research Group on Child and Adolescent Victimization (GReVIA) , Universitat de Barcelona , Barcelona , Spain.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the lifetime prevalence and characteristics of self-reported child sexual victimization and associations between sexual victimization and sociodemographic characteristics and victimological profiles in community adolescents in Spain. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (Finkelhor, Hamby, Ormrod, & Turner, 2005) was applied to a sample of 1,105 community adolescents (M = 14.52 years, SD = 1.76). Experience of sexual victimization (with or without physical contact) was reported by 8.8% of the sample, at a mean age of 13 years old. Sexual victimization was more prevalent in girls (14.2%) and in older adolescents (10.6%). Offenders were mainly male (87.6%) and were mostly friends, neighbors, or schoolmates (52.6%). No injuries resulted from victimization (4.3%), although the percentage of penetration or attempted penetration was very high (30.6%). Only 9.3% of victims reported the incident to the police or the justice system. In regard to victimological profiles, sexual victims also experienced other forms of victimization (M = 7.16; SD = 3.39): boys reported more conventional crimes, peer and sibling victimization, and witnessing community violence than other victims, whereas sexually victimized girls reported more caregiver victimization and property crimes. Sexually victimized youth present a distinctive sociodemographic and victimological profile. Professionals need to be aware of these characteristics in order to conduct adequate prevention programs. We also need to assess a wide range of victimization experiences when treating sexual abuse victims in order to make adolescents less vulnerable to violence.


Abuse characteristics; Spain; adolescent; polyvictimization; prevalence; sexual abuse; sexual victimization

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