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Ghana Medical Journal

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Youths and non-consensual sex: exploring the experiences of rape and attempted rape survivors in a tertiary institution in Ibadan, Nigeria

Oladipupo S Olaleye, Ademola J Ajuwon

Abstract


Background: Non-consensual Sex (NCS) is a worldwide problem with far reaching effects on the survivors. This study explored the experiences of rape and attempted rape (AR) survivors in a tertiary institution in Nigeria.

Methods: In-depth interviews with fourteen survivors of rape and AR were used to explore the context of experience of NCS, its consequences and help-seeking. Interviewees consisted two males and five females for each form of NCS who were identified during the quantitative aspect of the study. Interviews were subjected to content analysis.

Results: Mean age of the respondents was 22.3±2.5 years. Context of non-consensual sexual experiences varied with sex. Female survivors reported use of physical violence on them by their perpetrators while males reported verbal threats, nudity, forceful hugging and kissing. Means of escape adopted by survivors of AR varied between the sexes. Female AR survivors used physical force as a means of escape while males employed deception/plea. Perpetrators were majorly acquaintances of the survivors. Consequences of the experiences reported include physical injuries and pregnancy among females and psychological disturbances among males. Majority, both males and females did not report, nor seek help due to shame and did not know appropriate methods of preventing future experience.

Conclusion: Although both males and females reported they have experienced rape and AR, the context of the experiences and consequences reported varied between both sexes and most did not know how to prevent future experience. This call for urgent development of gender sensitive sexual violence prevention programmes to address this phenomenon.

Keywords: rape, perpetrators, attempted rape, Students, non-consensual sex

Funding: The study received grant support from The Gates Institute, John Hopkins University Baltimore, USA through The Centre for Population and Reproductive Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.




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