Learning Objective 1: The leaner will be able to describe the various acts of sexual abuse experienced by school adolescent girls
Learning Objective 2: The leaner will be able to identify the perpetrators of sexual abuse of adolescent girls, settings for the abuse and reactions to the abuse
The Study was designed to assess experiences of sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and rape among school adolescent girls in Nigeria. It was also designed to assess who the perpetrators were, settings of the abuse and reactions of the survivors to sexual abuse.
Semi-Structured Questionnaire developed from review of literatures with reliability co-efficient of 0.7 was used to collect data. The questionnaire contained 23 questions and assessed adolescents’ demographics, experiences of childhood sexual abuse, experiences of sexual exploitation, harassment and rape, viz-a-viz who the perpetrators were and the settings for the abuse. The reactions of the survivors to sexual abuse were also determined. Ethical issues were addressed during collection of data.
Findings showed that 15% experienced childhood sexual abuse and their mean experience was 0.22 ±0.57. Twenty-nine percent of the adolescents were found to have low rate of sexual abuse while 1% were found to have high rate of sexual abuse. Mean experience of sexual abuse at adolescent stage was 0.57±1.13. Perpetrators of rape and sexual harassment were mostly male friends (5% and 12% respectively) while perpetrators of sexual exploitation were mostly sexual partners (6%). Setting for various acts of sexual abuse was reported to be in the perpetrators’ house while, many of the survivors reported they did nothing about the abuse. Using Pearson Moment Correlation co-efficient, there was a significant relationship between sexual abuse in adolescent stage and childhood sexual abuse (r = 0.433; P = 0.0001), and number of sexual partners (r = -0.225; p=0.001).
The study concluded that sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and rape is prevalent among school adolescent girls, and there is need for school nurses to create awareness among them to recognise potential perpetrators and report experiences of sexual abuse.