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Stakeholders' perceptions of abuse of children with disabilities at a special school in Zimbabwe

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The study sought to determine: (a) the perceptions of students with disabilities, their teachers, caregivers and parents about what constitutes child abuse of children with disabilities; and (b) how these stakeholders view the school's effforts to help children with disabilities avoid abuse and cope with instances of abuse. A purposive sample of 14 children with various disabilities, 7 teachers who taught and counselled these children and 2 caregivers who looked after the children in their hostels at the residential school participated in this study. Seven parents of children with disabilities were also interviewed. Data were analysed using themes in this study. Teachers, parents and caregivers reported that young girls with disabilities were forced into sexual relations by older boys and men. Children with visual and hearing impairments reported that corporal punishment was administered on them; and embarrassing name-calling and verbal abuse by some teachers and caregivers as behaviour modification strategies.


Appeared or available online: April 25, 2012

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