The main objective of the study was to understand the adjustment capacity of sexually abused girls in the age group 13-18 years in Kolkata, India. The study also attempted to understand how the sexually abused girls perceived the psychological interventions, i.e. individual and group counselling, which they had received. A group of 120 sexually abused Indian girls and 120 non-sexually abused Indian schoolgirls residing in Kolkata Metropolitan City and its suburbs were studied. Findings revealed that the majority of the sexually abused girls came from nuclear and poor families (93.3%) with a low educational background. More than two-thirds (73.3%) were lured with promises of job prospects, marriage and a better life and then abused sexually. Emotional and social adjustment capacity of sexually abused and non-sexually abused girls differed significantly (p < 0.05). Overall, the perception of more than two-thirds of the sexually abused girls of the rehabilitation homes they lived in was found to be positive. Further, the girls who reported they gained considerably from counselling had a better adjustment capacity compared to those who reported they did not benefit from counselling. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.