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                                                   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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