Perception of Rape Amongst Secondary School Students In Port Harcourt
AbstractBackground: Rape in children is a significant public health problem and represents the least reported but most devastating major form of child abuse all over the world. It occurs when one person does not fully and freely consent to sexual intercourse. This study seeks to evaluate the perception of rape among secondary school students in Port Harcourt.
Methods: This study was conducted among secondary school students during a series of debates organised by the Medical Women Association of Nigeria in Port Harcourt. Using a structured, anonymous and self-administered questionnaire, data collected included bio data, awareness information, response and practices.
Results: One thousand and fifty students, 486 (46.3 %) males and 564 (53.7 %) females participated in the study. Their ages varied between 10 and 20 years with a median age of 15. 872 (83%) knew the general definition of rape but only 4% knew that intercourse between an adult and a minor is also rape. 412 (39.3%) believed that only persons between 16 and 19 years could be raped. 442 (42.1%) believed that anyone, both relatives and strangers could be the perpetrator. Only 138 (13.2%) knew that rape should be reported to the police. 48(4.6%) of them had been raped, of which 62.5% were by close acquaintances.
Conclusion: The study shows that respondents had a fair general knowledge about rape but the perception of age at risk and actions to take in case of rape is poor. There is therefore need for awareness/enlightenment campaigns about rape targeted at secondary school students.
Key words: rape, secondary schools, students
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