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Incidence of Emergency Department Visits for Sexual Abuse Among Youth in Hong Kong Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Educational Objective
To identify the key insights or developments described in this article
1 Credit CME

Extended school closures and restricted social activities during the COVID-19 pandemic may have increased the likelihood of youth being exposed to child sexual abuse (CSA), as seen during previous public health emergencies.1 Nonetheless, quantitative data are lacking. The aim of the study was to compare the incidence of CSA in youth before and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Hong Kong.

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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Article Information

Accepted for Publication: July 26, 2022.

Published: October 20, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.36278

Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Wong JYH et al. JAMA Network Open.

Corresponding Author: Abraham Ka Chung Wai, MBChB, JD, MBA, Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China (awai@hku.hk); Joshua W. K. Ho, BSc, PhD, School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China (jwkho@hku.hk).

Author Contributions: Drs Wai and Ho had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.

Concept and design: Wong, Yip, Wai, Ho.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.

Drafting of the manuscript: Wong, Wai, Ho.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Luk, Ho.

Obtained funding: Luk, Ho.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Luk, Wai.

Supervision: Wai, Ho.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support: This study was supported in part by AIR@InnoHK (Dr Ho), administered by the Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong.

Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

References
1.
Peterman  A , Potts  A , O’Donnell  M ,  et al.  Pandemics and Violence Against Women And Children. Vol 528. Center for Global Development Washington; 2020.
2.
Census and Statistics Department. Table 1B: Population by Sex and Age. Updated August 11, 2022. Accessed April 27, 2022. https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/web_table.html?id=1B
3.
Wai  AKC , Wong  CKH , Wong  JYH ,  et al.  Changes in emergency department visits, diagnostic groups, and 28-day mortality associated with the COVID-19 pandemic: a territory-wide, retrospective, cohort study.   Ann Emerg Med. 2022;79(2):148-157. doi:10.1016/j.annemergmed.2021.09.424 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
4.
Social Welfare Department. Statistics on child protection, battered spouse and sexual violence cases. Updated July 19, 2022. Accessed February 11, 2022. https://www.swd.gov.hk/vs/index_e.html#s3
5.
Katz  C , Field  N .  Unspoken: child-perpetrator dynamic in the context of intrafamilial child sexual abuse.   J Interpers Violence. 2022;37(5-6):NP3585-NP3604. doi:10.1177/0886260520943723 PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
6.
Scully-Johnson  A . Hong Kong family law today: drowning not waving? In: Brinig  M , ed.  International Survey of Family Law 2020. Cambridge University Press; 2020:149-164.
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