By David Lee on September 30, 2009 · tagged as , , , , ,

Cultural protective and risk factors

In a new article published online in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect, the authors focus on cultural protective and risk factors in their discussion about child sexual abuse in Kenya.  I appreciate the examination of cultural practices that may support prevention efforts as a strong method to develop a community based solution.  While this article looks at tribal cultures in Kenya, I wonder where is the work in this country to address cultural protective and risk factors?

The abstract and full citation from SafetyLit follow the jump:

Cultural protective and risk factors: Professional perspectives about child sexual abuse in Kenya.

Plummer CA, Njuguna W. Child Abuse and Neglect 2009; ePublished September 15, 2009

Click here for a link to the article.  Articles can also be found but the DOI

(Copyright © 2009, Elsevier Publishing)

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore perspectives on cultural risks and protective factors among professionals in Kenya.

METHOD: An exploratory/descriptive survey of Kenyan professionals working to prevent or intervene with child sexual abuse was undertaken to determine their perspectives on how tribal culture impacts vulnerability to sexual abuse. Participants at a conference workshop, were grouped according to tribal affiliation and asked to list key factors that they believe increase or decrease risk to children of sexual abuse in that tribe. Participants from seven ethnic groupings (Somali, Miji Kendas, Luo, Kamba, Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Kisii) identified factors which were then categorized by themes using qualitative examination.

RESULTS: Participants identified a number of cultural factors that protect children from sexual abuse as well as those that create risk for sexual abuse. Strong similarities were identified across groups; however in some cases factors viewed as risks by some were viewed as protective by others.

CONCLUSIONS: In this exploratory study in Kenya, professionals identified many culturally supported practices that protect against or create potential risks for child sexual abuse. Awareness of traditions and practices may inform creation of interventions for preventing child sexual abuse.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Cultural/community level factors must be considered in designing prevention and intervention programs, particularly in more collective societies.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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