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Afr J Reprod Health. 2008 Aug;12(2):111-9.

Sexual abuse among juvenile female street hawkers in Anambra State, Nigeria.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University. P. M. B. 5001, Nnewi Campus, Nigeria. jikechebelu@yahoo.com

Abstract

Street hawking exposes young girls to all forms of hazards, including sexual abuse. This descriptive study examines the size of the problem and the consequences of sexual abuse on juvenile female street hawkers randomly recruited from two urban towns in Anambra State of Nigeria. Data was collected with semi structured, interviewer administered questionnaires. The mean age of the female hawkers was 13.0 +/- 2.2 years. Out of 186 respondents, 130 (69.9%) had been sexually abused with 32 (17.2%) having had penetrative sexual intercourse (28.1% were forced and 56.3% submitted willingly) while hawking. Majority (59.4%) of the sexual partners were adults. Other types of sexual abuse experienced include inappropriate touches (106 cases; 81.5%) and verbal abuses (121 cases; 93.1%). There was low awareness of the twin risks of pregnancy (43.1%) and sexually transmitted infections (54.3%) following sexual abuse among the respondents. Sexual abuse of young female hawkers is an issue of great public health importance. Poverty alleviation, health education and protective child right policies will decrease its prevalence and the associated risks.

PMID:
20695046
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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