Associations Between Socioeconomic and Socio-Normative Conditions, Emotional Violence, and the Experience of Childhood Sexual Violence in Nigeria Open Access

Fasanmi, Abidemi Omolara (Spring 2019)

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Introduction: Sexual violence against children remains a global public health issue that has received attention from policymakers around the world. In Nigeria, about 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 10 boys experience sexual violence before the age of 18. 

Objective: The aim of this study is to explore associations between factors within a child’s socio-ecologic environment in Nigeria and sexual violence against children.

Methods: This study used a sequential exploratory mixed method approach to assess associations between childhood experience of emotional violence, parental presence (social factor) and gender attitudes (GA); both combined and assessed as a socio-normative factor (SNF); work, sexual exploitation and education (combined as a socio-economic factor (SESF)) and experience of any form of sexual violence against children involving contact (cSV). SAS statistical software - 9.4 (Cary, NC) was used to analyze the secondary data from the Violence Against Children Survey (VACS) in this study. VACS is a nationally representative cross-sectional study of 4203 participants. Respondents were 1766 females and 2437 male individuals aged 13 to 24 years. Children were defined as individuals below 18 years of age. A chi-square test of association and logistic regression was conducted. 

Results: Findings in this study show that the experience of CSV differed significantly between females and males (34% and 20%, respectively) and the odds of females experiencing cSV was 2.293 times more likely than males. This is contextualized using quotes from the Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) that explains the role that resources, stigma, shame, relationships and silence play in sustaining practices that are associated with CSV in Nigeria. This study showed that social and gender norms, as well as emotional violence, are associated with sexual violence against children, especially girls in Nigeria.

Conclusion: There is a need to further research the ways in which these social and gendered norms and emotional violence predisposes children to sexual violence. It is also important to create a sustainable social protection system, provide efficient legal systems and a safe social environment for children to live and grow in Nigeria.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Table of contents vii

List of tables and figures viii

Abbreviations ix


Introduction and Rationale 1


Background information and literature review 3

Problem Statement 9

Purpose Statement 9

Significance Statement 10

Research Questions 12

Definition of Terms 13


Background 16

Ethical Considerations 18

Study Design 18

Methods 20

  Qualitative study 21 

  Quantitative study 26

       Measures 28

Results 34

  Qualitative findings 34

  Quantitative findings 39

  A conceptual framework for CSV in Nigeria 45


Discussion 47

Strengths and limitations 50

Policy Implications 52

Recommendations 53

Conclusion 55

Bibliography 56

Appendix A: IRB 76

Appendix B: Key Informant Interview Discussion Guide 77

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