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Background: Female sexual abuse is one of the most stressful life events and is associated with many adverse consequences including physical and mental health problems, substance abuse and criminality Methods: This study was a cross sectional study that was conducted among female secondary school students in Jos South LGA of Plateau State.
A minimum sample size of 272 was calculated and rounded up to 300 and participants were selected through a multistage sampling technique. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information from the students on their socio-demographic characteristics, prevalence of sexual molestation, factors responsible for the sexual molestation and the effect of sexual molestation on the victims.
Result: The age range of the females who responded was 10-22years with a mean age of 16 + 2.42 years. The prevalence of sexual abuse was found to be 80(26.5%) among the female students. The offenders were mostly known to the victims 51(63.8%), most of which were friends (41.2%) and neighbours (37.3%), others were cousins, uncles and brother (21.5%).Only 27(33.8%) of the victims reported the case to someone while 53 (66.2%) did not report to anyone. Factors that were found to be significantly associated with sexual abuse included age (p=0.001), hawking
(p=0.001), Alcohol consumption ( p=0.057) and not living with parents (p=0.034). OR and 95% CI of 0.42(0.25, 0.71), 3.03(1.62, 5.68), 3.08(0.97,9.82) and 0.54(0.30,0.96) respectively.
Conclusion: this study found that sexual abuse is not uncommon in our environment and stimulating the children's competency in recognizing abusive situations and the importance of disclosing the abuse may
be part of the solution to the problem.
Key Words: Sexual abuse, females, secondary school, North central Nigeria