Parental perspectives on non-disclosure of child sexual abuse: a case study of Kalingalinga, Lusaka, Zambia.

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Shibeleka, Charter
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The University of Zambia
Parents play a critical role in safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children against vices such as Child Sexual Abuse (CSA). Despite CSA being a problem in many countries including Zambia, there is dearth of research that seeks to explore the non-disclosure or reporting of CSA cases to relevant authorities by parents. The purpose of the study was to explore the parental perspectives on the non-disclosure of the incidence of child sexual abuse in Zambia. The specific objectives were; (i) To understand Parents’ conception or understanding of CSA (ii) To uncover Parents’ perceived prevalence of CSA non-disclosure, and (iii) To explore Parents’ conceptions of factors contributing to non-disclosure of CSA. A phenomenological qualitative research design was used. Research participants included 13 parents with children below the age of 18 residing in Kalingalinga Township, Lusaka. They were sampled using Snowball Sampling method. Primary data was collected through face to face interviews with the participants which were orally administered and tape recorded. Secondary data was obtained from relevant literature. Thematic qualitative data analysis techniques were used to process and analyze data. The findings of the study indicate that Parents believed that sexual abuse of children was a bad behavior usually perpetrated by the people who are trusted by the children or their parents. The findings suggest that high incidence of CSA exists and that some victims don’t disclose on their own unless the parents inquires. Findings also showed that negligence, belief in myth, and lack of self-control contributes to CSA. The cases of abuse are only known after several incidences of abuse while others are not known at all. The cases are mostly reported if the perpetrator is not a relative. The study identified fear of denting a family’s image, fear of a relative’s arrest, bribes & ignorance as being among the factors that contributes to non-reporting of CSA. The study recommends that Government should formulate policy strategies designed to prevent CSA such as stiffening the punishment for the perpetrators, put measures to ensure adherence to the laws against allowing children in taverns or underage drinking, and to economically empower compounds like Kalingalinga. The study also recommends that community leaders from time to time should be sensitizing their people concerning the dangers, prevention, symptoms and the disclosing of CSA. Key words: Child Sexual Abuse, Child Sexual Abuse Prevalence
Master of Social Work Degree
Sexual Abuse , Depression in children--Popular works. , Child abuse--Parental disclosure. , Child sexual abuse--Parental disclosure. , Sexual abuse.