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Böhm, Bettina (2017): "She Got Spoilt": Perceptions of Victims of Child Sexual Abuse in Ghana. In: Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, Vol. 26, No. 7: pp. 818-838

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International research has commented on social stigma as a key reason for nondisclosure of child sexual abuse. However, the actual components of this social stigma frequently remain unexplored. The present study deals with perceptions of consequences of child sexual abuse among professionals and laypeople in Ghana (N=44), employing a bystander perspective. As a qualitative study using a grounded theory framework, it considers these consequences in light of their underlying beliefs about child and adolescent development, particularly in relation to gender-based expectations placed on girls and boys. Consequences of child sexual abuse could be divided into sexual health consequences, beliefs about destroyed innocence and beliefs about a destroyed future, which were strongly related to the sexual nature of the violence perpetrated. These perceived consequences of child sexual abuse hold implications for what surviving child sexual abuse means on a social level. Implications for practice are discussed on the basis of the data analysis.

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