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A custom distorted : beliefs about sexual abuse involving teenagers with intellectual disability at a rural setting in South Africa


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This paper is based upon the findings of a study that took place in a rural setting in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It describes the social problem of sexual abuse of teenagers with intellectual disabilities by analyzing the roots of common misconceptions of intellectual disability, which render these teenagers vulnerable to sexual abuse. This paper is useful for anyone interested in learning more about disability and misconceptions of disability in Africa

Gender-based violence [thematic section]


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The thematic section of this issue focuses on violence and gender. It presents an overview of the many types of gender-based violence (GBV), including domestic violence, rape, prostitution and female genital mutilation. Grace Osakue argues that the main reason for widespread GBV is the prevalence of patriarchal values and deeply embedded cultural attitudes in many societies. The debilitating effects for women are felt at many levels: psychological, social economic. A number of initiatives and programmes have been effective in helping to break the silence, and these include awareness raising; counselling; legal reform; social mobilisation; improving women's economic conditions and involving survivors in programming. In another article, Zubeda Dangor, reporting on Nisaa's experience of providing accommodation and counselling to abused children and women in South Africa, explores the link between violence and HIV. Finally Ehita Ikoghode-Aikpitanyi investigates girls trafficking in Nigeria, and reports on the lessons learned from the Girls' Power Initiative


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