Sexual abuse among boys in Public primary schools in Mukuru kwa Njenga slum, Nairobi County-Kenya
Odoro, Atieno Rachael
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Sexual abuse among children has long history in Kenyan schools. Recent evidence however points out on underreported cases of boy child sexual abuse; rise in incidence of reported crimes of sexual nature and sporadic occurrence of such inhumane treatment of children outside and within learning institutions attest to threatened sexual safety and future reproductive health of children. The study aimed at assessing prevalence and risk factors of sexual abuse among boy child in public primary schools in Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum, in Nairobi County. Specific objectives of the study included: to assess awareness level of sexual abuse, to determine prevalence of sexual abuse, to identify risk factors of sexual abuse among boy child, and finally to establish who the perpetrators of sexual abuse among boy child are. The study adopted cross sectional descriptive approach. The study population was sexually abused and non-sexually abused boys aged amid10-18, with a sample size of 300 and key informants. Mukuru Kwa Njenga slum was randomly selected among the three major slums in Nairobi. All the four major public primary schools were selected into the study purposively and some boys in the respective schools were sampled using simple random sampling technique. The schools and the boys were assigned random numbers. However, a few cases in the slum were used proportionately and through key informant interviews and focused group discussions until sample size was achieved. Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used to enhance realization of strangulation effect. Focused Group Discussion guides, Key Informant Interview guides and Questionnaires with Closed and open ended questions were used. As such, necessary ethical considerations such as permission from research authorities, teachers as child custodians and key informants in the study were observed. However, following the sensitivity of the topic consent, assent and confidentiality were strictly observed. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 17. The results were as follows: prevalence of sexual violence among boys in the study is 75.3% with a chi-square p< .001, mean age of the pupils is 12.31 (+ .16), 68% had low awareness level on sexual abuse, pupils living with single parents were 5.163 times at risk of sexual abuse while those sharing a room with mother were less likely to experience sexual abuse (0.082 times) as compared to those sharing room with sisters. Majority of boy child sexual abuse perpetrators are strangers (58.2%) and peers (27.6%) and the crime occurs mainly in the neighborhood in the absence of parents. In conclusion sexual abuse prevalence in the study area is high, children are at risk, there are low awareness levels, and perpetrators are varied as shown above. Recommendations: child protection agencies to come up with strategies to save the boy child from this inhumane act. Studies of same kind in other slum areas and among children generally should be carried out.