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CommentaryInternational

Sri Lanka: Psychiatric assessment essential for sexual offenders or victims with ADHD: Study

Source: nation.lk 9/14/21

By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody

Owing to neuro developmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in turn being associated with sexual abuse and related offences in the Sri Lankan context, it is recommended that children and adolescents who are either victims of sexual abuse or offenders of the same, undergo psychiatric assessment, a local study noted.

The instant case described an adolescent who allegedly sexually abused another schoolboy in the context of previously undiagnosed ADHD. Child sexual abuse is the involvement of children and adolescents in sexual activities that they cannot fully comprehend and to which they cannot consent as a fully equal participant.

While early detection and the proper management of this disorder may have reduced the propensity for risky sexual behaviour on the part of the offender, a clearer understanding of the illness by the parents and more vigilance by the school authorities could have prevented the alleged incident at school. Therefore, as pointed out by C. Kleemeier, C. Webb, A. Hazzard, J. Pohl’s “Child sexual abuse prevention: Evaluation of a teacher training model”, the improvement of awareness among parents and teachers about psychiatric disorders may be an effective way of preventing sexual abuse among schoolchildren.

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If only the U.S. was as enlightened about this as Sri Lanka.

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