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Intimate Partner Violence at an Early Age: Experiences of Girl-Adolescents Presenting at Kwathula Family Counseling Centre-Bulawayo

Abstract


The study tracked the experiences of girl-adolescents presenting with intimate partner violence issues at a Counseling Center in the City of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. Narratives provided the theoretical framework for conducting qualitative research within a social constructivist paradigm. Adolescents were allowed to narrate their relationship problems. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. Anonymity and confidentiality were maintained, and in-depth semi-structured interviews were used for data collection with thematic analysis used for data treatment. The sample size was determined by data saturation at ten participants. The findings were that physical abuse may result in permanent injuries and in severe cases death might also occur. Psychological abuse leads to dehumanized individuals, lowering of self-esteem, and creating the sense of hopelessness. Sexual abuse exposes adolescents to a plethora of diseases such as STIs, HIV, vaginal infections, chronic pelvic pains and many more others. Adolescents engage into intimate relationships at an early age. The government and communities are encouraged to be involved in the establishment of counseling centers specifically for adolescents where they can feel free to consult on issues of dating, sexualities and marriage. 


Keywords

Intimate partner violence, girl-adolescent, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse

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