Circumstances contributing to adolescents' vulnerability towards sexual abuse in a rural area
Mamabolo, Marumo Nyabane
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In rendering child care protection services to adolescents in the Marshite area as a social worker in the Department of Social Development, the researcher recognised that an increased number of adolescents are sexually abused also by persons known to them. The sexual abuses are not reported because adolescents and caregivers lacked adequate knowledge of what is sexual abuse and services provided by social workers available for them. This became evident from the intervention programme statistics which indicated that adolescents and caregivers were not aware of other sexually abusive behaviours than penetration. The aim of the research was to identify circumstances that contribute to adolescents’ vulnerability towards sexual abuse in a rural area in order to enable social workers to empower adolescents and caregivers on how to prevent sexual abuse. Also to develop and evaluate programmes and services rendered to sexually abused adolescents and their families. Purposive voluntary sampling was used to select adolescents participating in empowerment programmes of social workers in the Marshite area. The research reveals that children in the Marshite area lack sufficient knowledge on child sexual abuse. The circumstances within which the adolescents live in the Marshite area make the adolescents victims of sexual abuse. Looking at the services that social workers render to the sexually abused adolescents and their caregivers in te Marshite area, there is a need for skilled and knowledgeable forensic social workers who can develop empowerment programmes and render relevant services to sexually abused adolescents and their families in the Marshite community.
- Humanities