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Sexual violence is an emerging public health challenge that affects millions of adolescents around the globe. The Nigerian increased prevalence is not much different from what other African counterparts suffers as the media has at least a case report  of sexual violence against minors daily. Despite studies revealing these age group to be the most affected, little is known about how much awareness and  knowledge these adolescents have on sexual violence, its predisposing risks and available  help resources as well as what experiences the adolescents with low economic status have. It is in the light of this that the researcher carried out the study to explore the knowledge and experience of adolescents on sexual violence in public High School in Ife Central local Government Area.

This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional design,  A total population of 362 Adolescents from four public high school, participated in the study. The questionnaire used was a self structured questionnaire with an adapted section from the sexual violence experience standard scale. The questionnaire was validated and tested for reliability with an overall alpha coefficient 0.8. 365 copies of the questionnaire were distributed and 362  were  returned back to the researcher dully filled. The data retrieved from the participant were coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22. It involved descriptive & inferential statistics

Findings from this study shows a mean age of 15.9  with a standard deviation of 1.55 The results also shows that majority of the adolescents 304 (83.5%), In Ife Central Local Government Area, have poor knowledge  on what sexual violence is, its predisposing risk, and knowledge of resources to go for help if they fall victims. While 58 (16.4) have good knowledge of sexual violence. The mean value for knowledge was 5.74 with a standard deviation of 2.3. On experience, low level of sexual  violence experience was reported by 271 ( 74.5%) of the respondents while 93( 25.5%) reported high experience of sexual violence. the mean value for experience was10.87 with a standard deviation of 3.94.  Both male and females reported experience of sexual violence, however, most males reported being more of perpetrators than victims.  Adolescents   with parent of lower social economic status showed higher report of experience of sexual violence than their counterparts. Adolescents  with good knowledge of sexual violence and its risk factors. reported lower  experience of sexual violence.

In conclusion, poor knowledge of Adolescents on sexual violence, its risk and available resources, as well as low socio-economic background of adolescents are contributing factor to  increase prevalence among this age group. Thus it is recommended that more efforts and intervention studies should be put in place to increase awareness on sexual violence, especially on the risk and resources available to these adolescents for help. There is also need for community nurses to help link resource centers to schools. School based  intervention studies are needed to really determine best approach to curbing this menace.

Keywords;  Sexual Violence, Knowledge, Experience, Adolescents, Rape.

Word Count: 487





Content                                                                                                                                   Page

Title page                                                                                                                                i

Certification                                                                                                                            ii

Dedication                                                                                                                              iv

Acknowledgements                                                                                                                v

Abstract                                                                                                                                  vi

Table of Contents                                                                                                                   vii

List of Tables                                                                                                                          ix

List of Figures                                                                                                                         x

List of Appendices                                                                                                                 xi

List of Acronyms                                                                                                                    xii


1.1       Background to the Study                                                                                           1

1.2       Statement of the Problem                                                                                           2

1.3       Objective of the Study                                                                                               3

1.4       Research Questions                                                                                                     3

1.5       Hypotheses                                                                                                                 3

1.6       Scope of the Study                                                                                                     4

1.7       Significance of the Study                                                                                           4

1.8       Justification for the Study                                                                                          4

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms                                                                                 5






Content                                                                                                              page

2.0  Introduction                                                                                                  7

2.1 The Adolescent                                                                                             8

2.2  Prevalence of sexual violence  among adolescents.                                     9

2.3 Child sexual abuse                                                                                             10

2.4  Causes of sexual Violence                                                                          12

2.5 Prevention of sexual violence                                                                       12

2,6 Effect of sexual violence                                                                               17

2.7 Experience of sexual violence                                                                      21

2.8 Burden of sexual violence in Nigeria                                                          24

2.9 knowledge of sexual violence                                                                     26

2.10 Role of community health nurse in reducing sexual violence                    27

2.11 Theoretical frame work                                                                            28

2.12 Conceptual model                                                                                      31


3.0       Introduction                                                                                                                      33

3.1       Research Design                                                                                                              33

3.2       Population                                                                                                                        33

3.3       Sample size and sampling Technique                                                                   34

3.4       Instrumentation                                                                                                                35

3.5        Validity of Instrument                                                                                                    36

3.6       Reliability of Instrument                                                                                                 37

3.7       Method of Data Collection                                                                                              37

Content                                                                                                                                    page

3.7       Method of Data Analysis                                                                                               37

3.8       Ethical Consideration                                                                                                     38



4.0 Introduction                                                                                                                          39

4.1 Demographic analysis of respondents                                                                                  39

4.2 Knowledge of adolescents on Sexual violence                                                                    40

4.3 Answering of Research questions                                                                                       42

4.4   Experience of sexual violence                                                                                           46

4.5  Hypothesis testing                                                                                         51

4.7   Discussion of findings                                                                                 54


5.0       Introduction                                                                                                                57

5.1       Summary                                                                                                                     57

5.2       Conclusion                                                                                                                  58

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                                      58

5.4       Limitation of the Study                                                                                              59










Table                                                                                                                                         Page

3.1 Distribution of Respondents by school and level of study                                                     35

4.1 Distribution of Demographic Variables                                                                                  40

4.2 Distribution of Respondents ‘on source of knowledge of                                                       41

sexual violence

4.3 Distrbution on respondents knowledge on sexual violence                                                    42

4.4  Computation of Respondents’ level of Knowledge on sexual Violence                                43

4.5  Distribution of respondents Knowledge of risk reduction in preventing                              45

sexual violence

4.6  Distribution of Adolescents’ Experience of Sexual Violence among Respondents               46

4.7 Distribution of  Adolescents form of experience of sexual violence.                                      48

4.8  distribution of adolescents nature of experience of sexual violence                                       50

4.9 Distribution of Adolescents’ Reaction to  Experience of Sexual Violence                             51

4.10 Chi Square for adolescent age And knowledge                                                                     52

4.11  Anova  of socio economic status and experience of sexual violence                                   53

4.12 Pearson Correlation for knowledge and experience of Sexual Violence.                              53













Figure                                                                                                                                      Page.

2.1      Model for theory of  reasoned action                                                                          30

4.1     Pie chart  showing respondents distribution of  knowledge.                                        44

























          Appendix                                                                                       Page

1:         Questionnaire used in this Study                                                                    61

2:         Informed Consent Form                                                                                 67

3:         Ethical Clearance Certificate                                                                          69

4:         Letter of Introduction                                                                                     70




















CDC; Center For Disease Control.

CARE; Community Awareness Rape Education.

SES;   Sexual Experience Scale

WHO; World Health Organization

YBSS;  Youth Behavior Screening Survey.





















                                                   CHAPTER ONE


  • Background to the Study

Sexual violence is a major dehumanizing and serious emerging public health problem. It is also a social problem that affects thousands of people each year throughout the world, and adolescents seem to be the most affected victims due to their vulnerability (Center for Disease Control, 2011). About one hundred and fifty  million girls below the age of 18 are said to have  had experience of some  form of sexual abuse  (WHO, 2012).  Researches also shows that 6 out of 10 sexual violence actions is done against girls between the age of fifteen or  younger. Despite these high figures, they are still an underestimation of figures as a good number of sexual violence cases are never reported to the relevant establishment due to fear, shame and bias. (Sandra & Bloom, 2005).  The male counterparts are not left out as well, although females seem to bear the largest brunt of the problem. Sexual violence can have long lasting, harmful consequence on it victims, their relatives, friends, and communities.


WHO (2012), described sexual violence as any attempt to achieve  a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments, or advances, or act to traffic or otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality using force, by any one  regardless of their relationship to the victim in any setting including   home, school, and work, (Krug, Mercy, Dahlberg, & Zwi, 2002). It involves actions that range from verbal harassment to forced penetration, with various types of social intimidation. Sexual violence is a common phenomenon and occurs worldwide.

Data available suggests that in some countries one in five women report sexual violence by an intimate partner and up to a third of girls report forced sexual initiation (Odu, Falana, & Olotu, 2014) Sexual assault encompasses a range of acts, including coerced sex in marriage and dating relationships, rape by strangers, organized rape in war, sexual harassment (including demands of sex for jobs or school grades), and rape of children, trafficking of women and girls, female genital mutilation, and forced exposure to pornography. It is any act (verbal and/or physical) which breaks a person’s trust and/or safety and is sexual in nature  (Dahlberg & Krug, 2002).


Adolescent women are at a higher risk for sexual violence than any other age group. Globally 40-47 percent of sexual violence is done against girls age 15 and younger. Child sexual abuse accounts for 7% to 8% of the mental health disease burden amongst females globally  (Degue et al, 2014).Studies shows that a large number of date/acquaintance rape accounts for major cases of sexual violence. Poor awareness of the menace among this age group is a major identified risk factors increasing their vulnerability (CDC, 2014). Due to past or ongoing sexual abuse, abused teens are more likely than their non-abused peers to participate in “delinquent” teenage behaviors including those which result in social problems, conflict with authority, early sexual behavior, and eating problems, teenage pregnancy, and other high risk behaviors. (Darlinghton 2014). It is also note worthy that Most reported cases of sexual violence in Nigeria happens to victims of less than 18 years of age  (Adepoju, 2012)


Thus, putting Adolescents at a greater risk of victimization in sexual violence issues. In preventing this menace efforts must be made to reach both the perpetrators and the victims. This is because programs planned towards creating awareness on sexual violence would probably reduce perpetrators choice of committing sexual violence crimes and victims risk of falling into such acts. Therefore assessing the knowledge and experiences of adolescents is imperative in gathering baseline data that would aid appropriate intervention program that is aimed at primarily preventing sexual violence incidence in a developing country like Nigeria were resources to manage cases are limited.


  • Statement of the Problem

Everyday at least five children die from child sexual abuse. It is reported that most of those affected are within the age of 5 years and 18 years. It is  estimated that every incident of child sexual abuse cost the victim and society at least $99,000 annually rape ranges from $47,000 to $60,000.(Bloom, 2005)

In Nigeria for instance, there has been a daily report of one form of child sexual violence in the news media. Global rights, an NGO, working to stop sexual violence in Nigeria, reported in 2016, that one in four girls and one in ten boys have been sexually abused before age 18.

The increase rate of terrorism especially in the northern part as been reported to be a predictor of                              increase incidence of child sexual violence (UNICEF, 2016 ). Poor knowledge about sexual violence, what to do after it occurs and knowledge about nearest resource centers as well as other risky behaviors have been associated with its prevalence and complications such as unwanted pregnancy and HIV/AIDS among this age group (Misganaw & Worku, 2013).

Though several studies have been done on sexual violence, its prevalence, and prevention among adolescents, most studies however that has been done on knowledge focuses on college age groups ( older youths). Very little is known about what do adolescents males and females truly know about sexual violence, what risk factors contributes to the incidence, where to turn to for help in cases of emergencies and what their experiences is. This study would therefore asses the knowledge and experiences of adolescents on sexual violence. This would provide baseline information that would help in the fight against sexual violence especially among adolescents since it would give useful insight to appropriate interventions in preventing sexual violence among this group.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to assess the knowledge and experiences of sexual violence among adolescents in Ile Ife.

The specific objectives are to;

  1. assess the level of knowledge of adolescents on sexual violence.
  2. asses the level of knowledge of risk reduction measures in preventing sexual violence.
  3. explore the experiences of sexual violence among adolescents in Ife Central local Government area.

1.4       Research Questions

  • What is the level of knowledge of adolescents on sexual violence?
  • How much knowledge of risk reduction measures in preventing sexual violence do these adolescents have?
  • What experiences of sexual violence do adolescents have?
    •  Hypothesis

Ho1. There is no significant difference between adolescents’ age and their knowledge of sexual violence at 0.05 level of significance.

Ho2 Adolescents’ parent socio-economic status will not significantly influence their experience    of  sexual violence at 0.05 level of significance

Ho3 There is no significant correlation between adolescent’s knowledge and their experience of  sexual violence. At 0.05 level of significance

1.6       Scope of the Study

This study was descriptive in nature, and would make an attempt to assess the knowledge and experiences of adolescents on sexual violence in the four selected high schools. Four high schools was used so as to cut across various ages of adolescents in Ife Central local government. The researcher would use a descriptive cross sectional design to assess what adolescents know about sexual violence as well as what their experiences is.This study focused mainly on adolescents that are currently in school, whose ages are between twelve and eighteen years of age. The variables was assessed using an anonymous self-administered questionnaire.

1.7       Significance of the Study

Findings from this study would contribute to knowledge and provide baseline data that would be used to enhance future studies as well as planning of appropriate intervention against sexual violence`. The greater demand to ensure a violence free society, the more the need to increases researches that focuses on increasing knowledge at the primary level. The school environment is a major place in the life of the adolescents were both moral and social norms are learnt. Recommendations that were derived from the findings of this study will guide researchers, policy makers, administrators and other stakeholders in the fight against sexual violence, epidemic in developing appropriate related sexual violence reduction programmes that would improve the quality of life of our youths.

It would also broaden the horizon of the researcher in the area of research process in general as well as sexual violence research in particular because it is an area of interest that may serve as a career path.

1.8       Justification for the Study

Sexual violence is common among adolescents and place them on a lifelong trajectory of violence either as victims or perpetrators (Lundgren & Amin, 2015). The adolescent age has longed been proved as a very delicate age. The school is a major part of every community were these adolescents acquire knowledge, thus schools was u Based on the fact that the school setting provides one of the primary settings in which youth come in contact with each other, and based on previous research documenting the high rates of sexual harassment on school grounds (Greytak, 2003) researches shows there are very high prevalence of sexual violence perpetrated among this group. it is most likely that despite this, it is still not clear, how much knowledge adolescents have on sexual violence and what their experience is since most times cases of sexual violence goes unreported due to factors ranging from myths to cultural differences especially in this part of the world. It is therefore important that the experiences and knowledge levels be explored to determine what Adolescents truly know about sexual violence.

1.9       Operational Definition of Terms

The terms in this section were defined according to their usage and applicability in this study

Knowledge: what adolescents know about sexual violence; its definition, prevalence, predisposing risk, and prevention.

Experiences: This refers to the form of sexual violence have these adolescents experienced over time.

Sexual violence: Any sexual act that is not wanted and perpetrated on an individual without consent is considered a sexual violence in this study.

Prevention: This refers to activities aimed at reducing the predisposition to risks of sexual violence.

Adolescents: Male and Females between ages 13-19 years and presently attending public high schools in Ife Central Local Government of Osun State.

Child Sexual Abuse; Also used inter changeably with Adolescent sexual abuse to mean violence against minors.




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