Original Research

Experiences of mothers of sexually abused children in North-West province, post disclosure

Gaboipolelwe M. Masilo, Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele
Curationis | Vol 39, No 1 | a1659 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v39i1.1659 | © 2016 Gaboipolelwe M. Masilo, Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 November 2015 | Published: 16 August 2016

About the author(s)

Gaboipolelwe M. Masilo, Department of Nursing Science, North West University, South Africa
Mashudu Davhana-Maselesele, Department of Nursing Science, North West University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Sexual violence against children is increasing at an alarming rate in South Africa. In 2010 the South African Police Service (SAPS) reported 21 538 rape cases of children under 18 years. In the North-West province (NWP) 5039 incidents of rape cases were reported in 2009. Mothers often experience emotional pain following child sexual abuse disclosure. It is seldom acknowledged that these mothers experience trauma and need support, post disclosure. The researcher has no known evidence of research conducted on the experiences of these mothers in NWP.
Objective: The objective of the study was to explore and describe the experiences of mothers of sexually abused children post disclosure of the abuse.
Method: The research design was qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual. Purposive sampling was used to select mothers of sexually abused children aged 23 to 59 years whose children ranged from 0 to 16 years. Permission to conduct the study was sought from the Provincial Department of Health and informed consent was obtained from the mothers. Interviews were conducted with a sample of n = 17 until data saturation. Data were collected through in-depth interviews using a voice recorder and field notes to enhance triangulation. Tesch’s method of open coding was used to analyse data.
Results: Findings indicated that mothers experienced emotional pain post sexual abuse. They expressed shock, anger and guilt for not noticing the abuse. They showed significant depression as a result of lack of support by stakeholders.
Conclusion: Mothers experienced secondary trauma that poses social and psychological challenges with far-reaching implications.

Keywords

Child; Child Sexual Abuse; Mother of a Sexually Abused Child;Rape.

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