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Violence Against Women. 2012 Mar;18(3):309-21. doi: 10.1177/1077801212444578.

School-based sexual violence among female learners with mild intellectual disability in South Africa.

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  • 1University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.


Following qualitative research methodology, this article presents school-based sexual violence experiences of female learners with mild intellectual disability. A total of 16 learners aged 16 to 24 years participated in the study. The findings revealed that learners with intellectual disability are not immune to school-based sexual violence. Modes of behavior that occurred frequently included touching, threats, and intimidation. School practices that reinforced school-based sexual violence are identified. The findings contradict common misconceptions that people with intellectual disability do not understand what is happening to them. The study recommends that school policies for sexual violence be intensified and learners receive developmentally appropriate sex education.

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