The most common adversity faced by the offenders was found to be community violence and physical abuse, emotional neglect. The participants also had antisocial personality disorder. (Representational Image: ANI)
Hyderabad: A majority of convicts and undertrial prisoners involved in sexual offences in Telangana have a history of traumatic experiences like physical abuse, emotional neglect, and witnessing community violence, which includes street fights, quarrel in public places, in their childhood.
A few of them had also faced sexual abuse in their childhood, according to a study on adverse childhood experiences and psychopathology of convicted sexual offenders. The study found that the presence of adverse childhood experiences could affect physical and mental health in adulthood, resulting in an increase of crimes.
The most common adversity faced by the offenders was found to be community violence and physical abuse, emotional neglect. The participants also had antisocial personality disorder.
"A statistically significant relationship was found between adverse childhood experiences and number of offences committed," Dr Shruti Agnihotri, one of the researchers, currently the Psychiatrist, District Mental Health Program, Hyderabad told Deccan Chronicle. It was also found that those who faced sexual abuse never shared their ordeal with anybody including their parents, she added.
The research guide, Prof. Anitha Ravirala, department of Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health, Hyderabad said that the study shows how parents have a greater role in dealing with their children.
"Constant neglect, not taking care of their needs, abusing them, insulting them in front of others, beating, battering, and treating them badly will result in future psychological problems like depression, and anxiety. If the resulting trauma is more, they might themselves end up as offenders. Due to lack of empathy, they develop personality issues with defiance behaviour and might also develop criminal tendencies," she opined.
The duo who along with Prof M. Umashankar, Superintendent, Institute of Mental Health, conducted the study suggesting that to prevent these adverse experiences during childhood itself, parents should be taught the importance of good parenting as it has an impact on their kin not only during childhood but the whole life.
48 prisoners aged between 18–65 years sampled for the study
Sexual offenders who are arrested and convicted under IPC Sections 354, 375, 376, and 377 and the Pocso Act
Victims’ age: Three to 28 years old
Among the victims, more than 4% were males
Some of the victims were closely related to the offenders including their own daughters and nieces
According to the study, during their childhood,
95.8% accused experienced community violence,
93.8% experienced emotional neglect,
81.3% experienced physical abuse,
18.8% experienced sexual abuse.