A Retrospective Study: According to Online News, the Victims, Perpetrators and Characteristics of Sexual Abuse at Schools

Hacettepe University, Faculty of Education, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2020.86.6


Purpose: This study aims to investigate the characteristics of the children exposed to sexual abuse (SA) in the school environment.

Research Methods: In this study, the online news which was between 01.01.2014 and 31.03.2018 was screened retrospectively through archive research method. Then, the news was analyzed using content analysis. In this context, qualitative research model was used.

Findings: The number of victims varied between 1 and 100 in each incident, 39.3% of the incidents include only one victim; the perpetrators committed abuse once in 13.5% of the SA incidents while they did it more than once. The findings showed that 95.5% of the SA incidents included physical contact, 27.6% included verbal abuse, 6.4% included exposure to pornographic content and 5.8% included exhibitionism. In addition, at least 14.7% of the incidents included cyber SA, 9.2% included video recording, 12.6% included threat and 3.7% included physical violence. 60.7% of perpetrators were teachers, 14.7% were principals or vice-principals, 12.3% were peers or higher grade students, 9.2% were school staff other than teachers and administrators and 3.1% were outsiders, such as school bus drivers. The tactics of the perpetrators were examined according to whether they were teachers and peer, it was found out that perpetrators were exhibited different tactics. The students respectively disclosed SA to family members, counselors, school management or a friend.

Implications for Research and Practice: Based on the findings, training aimed to prevent SA may be organized at school for students, teachers, other school staff and parents on a regular basis.

Keywords: School, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, teacher sexual abuse, peer abuse, school security