Sexual Violence against Adolescent Girls in Mixed -Day Secondary Schools in Limuru Sub-County, Kiambu County, Kenya
Kimani, Eunice W.
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Sexual violence against adolescent girls (SVAG) is a global concern due to its adverse effects on the overall health of these girls. In Kenya, cases of sexual violence in this age group are reported to be at 33%. The study explored sexual violence among adolescent girls (15-19 years) in the nine (9) mixed day secondary schools of Limuru Sub-county, Kiambu County, Kenya. The broad objective of the study was: to assess the status of SVAG in mixed day school in Limuru Sub-county, Kiambu County. The specific objectives were: To establish the proportion of adolescent girls in mixed day schools in Limuru Sub-county affected by SVAG, to determine the perpetrators of SVAG in mixed day schools in Limuru Sub-county, to determine the factors that increase vulnerability of adolescent girls in mixed day schools in Limuru Sub-county to sexual violence, and to determine the factors that affect disclosure levels on sexual violence matters among adolescent girls in mixed day schools in Limuru Sub-county. The study was cross sectional in nature and collected qualitative and quantitative data. The research instruments that were employed in gathering data included self-administered questionnaires with the 301 sampled girls. The number of girls sampled in every school was proportionate to the number of adolescent girls in that school. Systematic sampling was then used to select the individual girls to participate in every school. Girls who were aged 15-19 years, who were in any mixed day secondary school in Limuru Sub-county, those that had been in the school for three terms and those who consented to participate in the study were illegible. Those who were excluded were girls who failed to consent to participate in the study as well as those who were absent from school during sampling. Three Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted; one in each educational zone of the Sub-county to enrich the data collected using the questionnaires. Key informant interviews were conducted with two officials in the Children’s Sub-county office, two medical officers, as well as with two police officers stationed in Limuru Sub-county and two school heads selected at random. 32.6% of the respondents were affected by SVAG. Of these cases, 85% had experienced forced touching, 51% had experienced attempted sex and 15% had experienced forced sex. In all the three forms of SVAG, male perpetrators constituted more than 96%. Boyfriends (32%) were the commonest perpetrators of sexual violence. About 49% of the perpetrators were reported to have been under the influence of psychoactive substances when committing the sexual violence. Most of the SVAG (40%) was done in the perpetrator’s home. Factors that showed a significant association with vulnerability to SVAG were: alcohol use (OR=3.4 p=0.001), forced sex at debut (OR=62.4 p=0.000) and family connectedness (p=0.001 OR=10.6). Social economic status and age of adolescent girl did not show any significant association with vulnerability to SVAG. Disclosure levels were low: forced sex (7%), attempted sex (12%) and forced touch (15%). Factors that showed significant association with disclosure levels were: level of knowledge on sexual violence (OR=1.8 p=0.03), level of knowledge on service availability (OR=7.9 p=0.01) and family connectedness (OR=2.29 p=0.02). Age of the girl did not show any significant association with disclosure levels.