Strategies Head Teachers Use to Curb Sexual Violence Against Girls in Co-Educational Secondary Schools in Jinja District
Author: MATHIAS J. WAKASENZALI
Supervisor: Modest Kayi O'dama
This study was set to explore the strategies that Head teachers use to curb sexual violence against girls in co- educational secondary schools in Jinja district. The objectives were; to establish the forms of sexual violence, the trend of sexual violence, the punitive and restorative strategies, and the merits and demerits of the strategies that head teachers use to curb sexual violence against the girls.
The researcher used a cross sectional survey design to carry out the research. The respondents for this study were; 14 Head teacher, 242 teachers and 28 key student leaders (14 head prefects &14 head girls) from 14 purposively selected co-educational secondary schools in Jinja district, in eastern Uganda. Questionnaire and interview techniques were employed to collect data.
The study revealed that sexual violence against girls in co-educational secondary schools in Jinja district is prevalent in various forms, especially indecent touches and defilement, and the trend is increasing. The findings also revealed that punitive strategies used by head teachers to curb sexual violence are mainly corporal punishments and suspension because of their merit of instilling fear and scaring of offenders. Corporal punishments are prone to causing body injuries if carelessly administered and they are as well illegal. The restorative strategies used mainly involved making offenders to write apology letters, parental involvement and counseling.
The researcher recommended that, Head teachers should inject more resources in strengthening of strategies against sexual violence to curb the increasing trend of sexual violence in schools. They should rely more on alternative punishments than corporal punishments to curb sexual violence since the latter are prone to causing body injuries and have above all been outlawed, head teachers should: train their staff in the skills of using restorative strategies, employ fulltime skilled helpers and sensitize; not only the students but also their communities about restorative approaches, head teachers should use a cross sectional approach; involving both punitive and restorative strategies in order to curb sexual violence because both of them have merits and demerits, however much emphasis should be laid on restorative strategies due to their convincing merits, and they should as well set clear behavior expectations for learners and work together with the parents and other stake holders against sexual offenders in schools.
The researcher made suggestions for further research in the areas of gaps in sexual violence against boys, sexual violence in primary schools and post secondary school institutions because gender based sexual violence cuts across all institutions but this study concentrated on co-education secondary schools. Equally a study can be done on the Strategies used by parents to curb sexual violence in their homes since many children are sexually abused even at home, yet this study handled sexual abuse of girls in secondary schools. Similar research can as well be extended to other districts of Uganda or abroad since sexual violence is both a national and global malady