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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-97

Experiences of sexual abuse by adolescent girls in Ife/Ijesa zone, Nigeria

Department of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A A Ogunfowokan
Department of Nursing Science, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-4078.182322

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Background: Sexual abuse of adolescent girls is a menace that has been reported globally, and it is increasing at an alarming rate. Objectives: The study assessed experiences of sexual harassment (SH), sexual exploitation (SE), and rape among school adolescent girls in Ife/Ijesa Zone of Osun State, Nigeria. It also assessed the perpetrators, settings of the abuse, and reactions of survivors to sexual abuse. Latent variables underlying revictimization during adolescent years were also explored. Methods: Cross sectional design was employed with qualitative and quantitative components. Two hundred twenty four adolescent girls from two public high schools were selected using cluster sampling technique. Quantitative data were collected using a semi structure questionnaire while qualitative data were collected using Focus Group Discussion Guide (FGDG). Institutional Review Board approval was received for the study. Results: Quantitative findings showed that 55.5% experienced SH and 23.7% experienced SE while 20.8% experienced rape. Three factors that were extracted using factor analysis were labeled as "forceful sexual interaction," "romance," and "actual sexual intercourse." Perpetrators of rape and SH were mostly male friends (69% and 50% respectively) while perpetrators of SE were mostly sexual partners (91%) which some of girls referred to as "aristos" in FGD. The mostly reported setting for various acts of sexual abuse was the perpetrators' house (rape 3%; SH 7%; SE 6%) and many of the survivors reported they did nothing about the abuse (rape 1%; SH 1%; SE 1%). However, all those who were sexually abused as children experienced high level of sexual abuse in adolescent stage. The FGD revealed that perpetrators of sexual abuse were mostly teachers, sexual partners, and peers while the bush path was mentioned as setting for rape contrary to data from the questionnaire. Conclusion: Sexual abuse educational intervention should focus more on male friends and sexual partners as perpetrators; the perpetrator's house as the settings for abuse; the necessity to report; and romance and force as elements of sexual abuse.

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