Psychosocial Problems and Coping Mechanisms of sexually Abused Girls in Shelter Home: The Case of Society for International Ministries (SIM) Girl’s Shelter Home Project, Addis Ababa.

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Addis Ababa University


The experience of child sexual abuse can leave a host of adverse behavioral, social, and psychological consequences. The main objective of the study was to explore psychosocial problems encountered by sexually abused girls and their coping mechanisms at Society for International Ministries (SIM) girl’s shelter home, Addis Ababa. These sexually abused girls usually suffer from psychosocial problems like low self-esteem, moderate level of anxiety and poor social interaction etc., and yet, these psychosocial needs of the sexually abused girls are often unconcerned by the service providers and stakeholders; as a result a number of the girls leave the project. Therefore, to understand the significant psychosocial issues of sexually abused girls, the researcher used both quantitative and qualitative methods, and used different data collection instruments such as questionnaire. The age of the residents ranged between 9-26 years. For the present study (n=80) representative sample selected, 10 (Ten) participants interviewed and also key informant interviews were conducted with 5 (Five) participants. The participants of the interviews and key informant interviewees were selected using purposive sampling techniques. As well, descriptive statistics used for data summarization and presentation, the data collected from these respondents analyzed using the SPSS version 20 statistical program. The study revealed that sexually abused girls accessed all basic needs necessary to sustain their lives. Whereas, research revealed that majority of sexually abused girls have experienced psychosocial problems (low self-esteem, moderate level of anxiety and poor social interaction), because of history of sexual abuse, insecure parental relationship with service providers, lack of freedom, discrimination by community and lack of proper psychosocial services. Regarding to their coping mechanisms, most of the participants employed emotion focused coping mechanisms (talking to people, crying & bury feeling internally, and isolating themselves from social activities) and, problem focused coping mechanism (praying).Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that placing and expanding psychosocial services like applying counseling for girls, providing life skill training for care givers, having parental love, care and protection and employing proper coping mechanisms will be valuable to help them to return to a meaningful life in future. KEY WORDS, psychosocial problems, psychosocial well-being, sexually abused girls, Shelter, coping mechanism



psychosocial problems, psychosocial well-being, sexually abused girls, , sexually abused girls