A study to find out the perception of factors that have led to the occurrence of child sexual abuse in Lusaka Urban District
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Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) is a growing public health issue of international concern that requires immediate attention. A total of 45.3% of Zambia's population are children. This study was looking at the perception of factors that have led to the occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse in Lusaka Urban district. The study estimated the burden of Child Sexual Abuse occurring and illustrated the findings according to age range, sex and the number of prosecuted cases. This was a cross-sectional study that utilized both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis to assess the extent of Child Sexual Abuse cases in Lusaka Urban district and the perception of factors that have led to the occurrence of Child Sexual Abuse. The study population comprised of programme officers from organisations that are working in the area of Child Sexual Abuse and residents of Chilenje community. The data was collected by means of a Focussed Group discussion guide and an Interview schedule. A total of six (6) FGDs were conducted with seven (7) participants in each group. In addition ten (10) KI interviews were conducted with participants from various organisations working on CSA programmes. Results A total of 1079 Child Sexual Abuse cases were reported in 2008 and out of these 1049 victims were females. In addition a total of 628 children aged between 11-15 years were abused in 2008. In 2009, a total of 1676 Child Sexual Abuse cases were reported to the police, of which there have only been 277 convictions. Some key factors such as culture, HIV, myths, poor parenting practices and socio-economic factors were identified as key factors that have contributed to the occurrence of CSA. Conclusion We conclude that a national task force on Child sexual Abuse should be established. Furthermore, there is need for standardised reporting and data management systems. In addition there is need to formulate policies across health, psychosocial and legal sectors. There is also need to coordinate with communities in order to formulate adequate Child Sexual Abuse prevention programmes.