The nature and extent of child abuse in selected residential secondary schools for students with exceptional needs in Thika district, Kenya
Gichuke, Wambui Virginia
MetadataShow full item record
The aim of the study was to investigate the nature and extent of child abuse in Thika High School for the Visually Impaired (VI) and Joytown Secondary School for the Physically Handicapped (PH) in Thika District. The study intended to answer the following questions: What was the nature and extent of physical, sexual and verbal abuse of children with exceptional needs? Who were the major perpetrators of such abuse? Was there gender disparity in such abuse? The study adopted a descriptive survey design and employed both qualitative and quantitative methods in data collect ion. The population of the study was 361 learners of which 143 Form 2 and Form 3 students participated in the study. Eighteen teachers from both schools were also involved. Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The fmdinrs of the study were presented in frequency tables, percentages, bar-graphs, and pie-charts. The results indicated that 74% of the students in Thika High School for the V1 had been beaten as compared to 29% in the case of Joytown School for PH. Thika High School for the VI reported 15% cases of touching of breasts as compared to 5% in Joytown School for PH. The study revealed that 64% of the respondents had been or were being verbally abused at school, 9% of the students reported to have been involved in I orced sex. The most common perpetrators of beating and insulting abuse were female teachers. With regards to touching abuse, the most common perpetrators were fellow students at 13% followed by male teachers at 8%. Perpetrators of sexual abuse were largely fellow students at 7% followed by male teachers at 6%. Notable gender differences were observed. Boys were more likely to report that someone had beaten them, forced them to have sex and touched them other body parts, while girls were more likely to report that the perpetrator had touched their breasts. Eighty two percent of the respondents strongly agreed that children should be taught how to protect themselves from those who abuse them at school. Recommendations were based on the students' views about reporting of abuse cases, incorporating child abuse in teachers' and students' curricula and prosecution of offenders.