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Child Abuse

This fact sheet reflects and reminds us of the levels of child abuse occurring in our schools.

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RESEARCH DEPARTMENT

FACT SHEET

 

CHILD ABUSE IN THE EDUCATION SECTOR

SEPTEMBER 2006

 

This fact sheet reflects and reminds us of the levels of child abuse occurring in our schools. Teachers, to whom parents and guardians expect protection of their children, happen to be the main perpetrators of child abuse. This situation should be stopped.

Cases of Child abuse are on the increase in Zimbabwe, especially in the education sector where more than 700 rape cases of girls aged 5 to 16 were reported in 2005 to the Girl Child Network Zimbabwe. According to the statistics, 93 percent of the victims are girls whilst the remaining 7 percent are boys. The types of abuse range from sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse and are perpetrated mostly by guardians at the schools. Analysis by the Girl Child Network of 246 reported cases of abuse in 1996 by teachers in secondary schools in Zimbabwe identified 212 cases of sexual abuse, 33 cases of physical abuse and one case of emotional abuse.

Sexual Abuse

According to the 1996 analysis by Girl Child Network, 99,1 percent of the perpetrators were male, of which 69.3 percent were under 30 years of age and 29.7 percent were 30 to 40 years of age, and only 1percent was over 40. Furthermore, 81.6 percent of the perpetrators were trained teachers. A total of 65.6 percent of the perpetrators had had 'sexual intercourse' with their pupils and other kinds of abuse including writing love letters, fondling (breasts, buttocks, thighs, private parts), kissing or hugging, rape, attempted rape and showing pornographic material to pupils.

Physical Abuse

Analysis of the 33 cases shows that most perpetrators (94.1 percent) were male and trained teachers. Most pupils, (75.8percent) had been caned, beaten, whipped, or hit without the head teacher's authority. Others had been slapped, punched and one pupil was kicked. The study found that 80 percent of the pupils caned, beaten, whipped or hit were male students whilst female students were either slapped or caned.

Emotional Abuse

One case of emotional abuse was reported involving a male teacher who had made both male and female pupils to kneel on hot cement surfaces without shoes resulting in the development of blisters on their feet.

The tables below show the information highlighted above;

 

Table 1:

Analysis by Gender of Teachers

Teacher Gender

 

Number of cases

 

Percentage

Male

210

99.1

Female

2

0.9

Total

212

100

 

Table 2:

Analysis by Teacher Status

 

Teacher Status

 

Number of Cases

 

Percentage

Trained

173

81.6

Untrained

39

18.4

Total

212

100

 

Table 3:

Analysis by Nature of Abuse

 

Nature of Abuse

Number of Cases

Percentage

Sexual Intercourse

139

65.5

Love Letters

55

26

Fondling, kissing, and hugging etc

23

10.9

Rape or attempted rape

4

1.9

Showed Pornographic

material

1

0.5

Total

212

100

Last modified on Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:34