Sexual abuse of children in schools: the need for social work intervention
The present study explores sexual abuse of school children by teachers in senior secondary schools in Botswana. It adopts a crosssectional quantitative approach. Data was collected from 3 senior secondary schools in the capital city of Gaborone, where the study was conducted. A survey questionnaire was self-administered to 330 randomly selected participants of which 300 were students and 30 teachers. Each school comprised 100 students and 10 teachers. The study utilised social exchange theory to explain human interactions related to sexual abuse of students by teachers. The findings provide evidence that sexual abuse is hidden and is a detrimental experience for school children. It also emerged from the findings that there were many factors that contribute to sexual abuse of children by teachers in schools, and many victims do not report the abuse for fear of blame or further victimisation by the perpetrators. This paper examines implications for social work practice given that social workers, by the nature of their work, intervene at individual, family and societal level. Lastly, future research, policy direction, and implications are discussed.
Keywords: Sexual abuse, social work, social exchange theory, Botswana