Original Articles

Nature and Prevalence of Childhood Sexual Abuse Among High School Girls and College Students in Zimbabwe

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 16, issue 1, 2006 , pages: 17–26
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2006.10820100
Author(s): Patrick ChiroroUniversity of Pretoria,, Tendayi G. VikiUniversity of Kent at Canterbury,, Ann FrodiLinkoping University,, Tinashe MuromoUniversity of Zimbabwe,, Alwin TsigahUniversity of Zimbabwe,


The study investigated the nature and prevalence of self-reported childhood sexual abuse (CSA) among a sample of Zimbabwean girls and college students. A total of 1059 high school girls and college students with a mean age (M = 18.31, SD = 3.66) participated in study. Overall, a CSA prevalence rate of 41.26% was found. The highest CSA prevalence rate was found among respondents who resided on commercial farms and mines (53%). Respondents who lived with their biological parents during childhood were significantly less likely to be sexually abused than were respondents who lived with non-parents such as uncles and brothers-in-law. Only 7.22% of the perpetrators were strangers. This study shows that sexual abuse of children in Zimbabwe is rampant, multifaceted, and linked to cultural factors that must be addressed as part of efforts to confront this scourge.

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