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Journal Article


Ombere SO. Afr. Stud. 2021; 80(1): 95-110.


(Copyright © 2021, Informa - Taylor and Francis Group)






Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a major global health concern. Although it is prevalent in Kenya, there is scant literature on what factors contribute to CSA vulnerability on Kenya's islands. This paper is based on a cross-sectional study of men's perspectives on factors contributing to CSA vulnerability on Kenya's islands. This qualitative study, therefore, focused on opinion leaders, children's officers, male community members, and boat owners from selected islands (Mageta, Magare, Oyamo and Ndeda) in western Kenya. Several factors emerged as contributing to CSA vulnerability on the islands: social stigmatisation and cultural sensitivity of CSA, proximity to social services, unrestricted migration, perceptions of legal costs, lack of committed witnesses, and commodification of sex for economic survival. This article recommends a local, targeted campaign for these fishing communities that promotes common goals, such as a safe and healthy environment for children, and working together to achieve these goals. Such a campaign has the potential to bring together a community to fight CSA and to increase its bargaining power to reduce CSA vulnerability. When a community does not agree on shared principles and expectations, deviant behaviour such as CSA has room to flourish, because community members cannot effectively organise themselves against it. It is hoped that the findings in this article might contribute some key insights on vulnerability experienced in remote areas that might be used by policymakers.

Language: en


child sexual abuse; emic perspectives; fishing communities; Lake Victoria; poverty; vulnerability; western Kenya


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