Sexual abuse of children is very prevalent in Ghana. The pandemic has been a worrying phenomenon to parents, community leaders and government in recent years because of increasing cases of the phenomenon. This study purposed to determine the common causes of child sexual abuse and the effect on children. The study also concerned itself with community knowledge, attitude and care toward child sexual abuse. Data were collected from May to June 2019. 500 opinion leaders were used for the study because of their special role as communicators and leaders in community issues. Adopting a cluster sampling technique, the author conducted a household survey on 25 communities using a five Likert scale questionnaire. Analysis of data was by the factor analysis which was used to assess associations between factors and community orientation towards sexual violence against children. The study identified weak family structure, low level of education, family’s inability to meet children economic needs and age as the common factors of child sexual abuse. The study again found withdrawal from family and friends and some physical disorders as effects of child sexual abuse. Also, it was clear from the study that community’s orientation is measured by its knowledge, attitude and care of the children. Another significant finding was that community’s knowledge and concern for children promote community orientation and subsequently reduce child sexual abuse and its associated outcomes. The study recommended to one toward care and attention to children at the community level, and strict application of sanctions against offenders at the local and national authority levels.
Key words: Attitude, child sexual abuse, community, community knowledge, community orientation.
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