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Issues Ment Health Nurs. 2009 Jul;30(7):456-9. doi: 10.1080/01612840903039367.

Sexual abuse and violence among adolescent girls in Botswana: a mental health perspective.

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School of Nursing, University of Botswana, P.O. Box 70032, Gaborone, Botswana, Africa.


The presence of sexual abuse among societies in Botswana is a phenomenon whose occurrence is usually denied albeit the police report on it and legal frameworks have been established to combat it. Several factors influence the concealment of sexual abuse among adolescent girls, which includes cultural factors and social status of the perpetrators. This paper espouses the concept of sexual abuse among adolescent girls, the existence of the problem, its magnitude, the factors that increase vulnerability to violence and abuse, and how these factors intersect with HIV and AIDS. Two case studies using a discovery method were used to explore the phenomenon under the study. The findings of the study indicated that sexual abuse and violence have profound mental health consequences including guilt, anxiety, depression and anger. Future research is suggested to explore this problem on a wider scale and develop interventions that can assist victims and perpetrators to cope with the situation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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