NEWS & ANALYSIS

Study finds violence is commonplace in schools – HSRC

41% of primary school learners experienced sexual violence in an intimate partnership in year prior to study

HSRC study finds violence is commonplace in schools 

31 July 2018

The Human Sciences Research Council with its partners Grassroot Soccer and Soul City Institute, through the Kwanele Project, will bring to the community of Khayelitsha the results of its Sexual Violence in Schools in South Africa (SeViSSA) initiative on Friday 3 August 2018.

The SeViSSA initiative aims to create safe school environments by dealing with violence against girls and is delivered through peer educators in Khayelitsha.

This baseline study presents a picture of the situation prior to the implementation of the project and will be used against which to monitor its progress.

Some of the key findings, which will be shared with the community, include:

- The baseline results revealed that violence is commonplace and occurs mostly in classrooms, on sports fields, or in bathrooms

- Intimate partner violence is widespread, the most common forms being (ranked): verbal threats, slapping, pushing/hair-pulling, hitting (with a fist or object), kicking, dragging, beating, choking, burning, threats with weapon

-  Sexual violence also featured as a form of intimate partner violence

- While 41% of primary school learners experienced sexual violence in an intimate partnership in the 12 months preceding the study, the study also found that younger learners are less likely to report IPV.

Some of the key lessons which emerged from the study include:

- Primary school learners need more attention
- Educators must understand and engage with youth cultures and local understandings
- Harmful gender norms should be interrogated
- More research work must be conducted with this group
- A culture of silence normalises widespread violence

Issued by Manusha Pillai on behalf of HSRC, 31 July 2018