Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Department of paediatrics, university of portharcourt teaching hospital. Department of paediatrics, university of portharcourt teaching hospital.

2 Department of Preventive Medicine, faculty of clinical science. University of Port Harcourt .

3 DEPARTMENT OF PHARMACOLOGY, FACULTY OF BASIC CLINICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT

10.51757/IJEHS.5.2024.713097

Abstract

Background

This study compares child sexual abuse (CSA) among on and of-the-street children in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Acknowledging the vulnerability of these children because of their work as street vendors. For street children, child sexual exploitation, which involves sexual engagement beyond the age of consent or understanding, has serious hazards, including the potential for being exposed to sexually transmitted infections (STI). The study intends to close this gap by performing a comparative study between on and of street children.

Methods

A sample of 287 street children, ages 8 to 18, were drawn from Port Harcourt metropolis using multistage sample technique. Semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used for data collection.

Results

One hundred and fifty-five (54.0%) of the participants were living on the streets, whereas 132 (46.0%) had a home to go back to. Street children had a high overall frequency of child sexual abuse (49.8%). Sexual abuse was significantly more among of-the street children (71.2%) when compared to on- the street children (34.2%).

Penetrative and non-penetrative pattern of sexual abuse were encountered by both groups; Both patterns were also found to be more prevalent among children of the street.

Conclusion

The results demonstrate the high rate of child sexual abuse among street children in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. with of street children being considerably more vulnerable. It is of utmost importance that the Nigerian government and civil society work together to ameliorate the plight of street children.

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