Experiences of girl child survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by family members: A case study of clients of Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL) Kampala District
Nabbira, Jucent Patience
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Child Sexual abuse is a global problem that affects millions of children, families, and communities every year. This study was set to examine the experiences of girl child survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by family members UYDEL with the specific objectives of examining the family environment in which sexual abuse takes place, exploring personal after-effects of sexual abuse perpetuated by family members on girl survivors, Identifying the motivating factors for disclosure among the girls sexually abused by family members and finding out the protective factors of the girl survivors of sexual abuse perpetuated by family members. The study adopted a case study approach to generate information that might have been left out by other researchers through an in-depth understanding of a complex issue in its real-life context and the study was purely qualitative. The data was collected from UYDEL, Kampala district. By the end of the study, data had been collected from six children and four key informants through face to face interviews and key informant interviews. The results of the study depicted that girl child sexual abuse in the family environment is common and this is done by parents, uncle's, cousins and general caretakers. This is done in various forms such as touching the girl's sexual organs, breasts, telling them vulgar words, exposing them to pornography, forcing them to have sex and many other forms that were predominantly cited by the girls. The possible causes of girl child sexual abuse were also assessed and this study has shown family-related factors as the major causes of girl child sexual abuse like death of parents, child neglect by parents, sending children to visit or stay with relatives, poverty andcultural beliefs . In addition, the researcher discovered that there are also institutional factors such as the ineffective implementation of policies against perpetuators of child sexual abuse and also failure to sensitize the community about child sexual abuse. Sexual abuse greatly affects the children physically, socially and psychologically as many children consented that after being abused, their lives didn't remain the same . In addition, these effects can be lasting on the welfare of children. The study recommends that NGOs working with children be supported by Government and other International donors in various capacities to ensure that they can sensitize parents/guardians on how best to bring up their children without abusing their rights. The communities should be educated about good parenting skills and also discouraged from norms and values that expose children to abuse. The children should also always seek help when abused to get support and justice since most of the forms of abuse have serious negative health consequences. This takes us back to everyone's responsibility to create a safe environment for children starting from homes, school, community so that they can easily find someone they can trust and share with them what they are going through.