Post Rape Care Provision to Minors in Kenya: An Assessment of Health Providers' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices

J Interpers Violence. 2020 Mar;35(5-6):1415-1441. doi: 10.1177/0886260517696863. Epub 2017 Mar 17.


Child sexual abuse (CSA) is a major global health challenge. Extant literature in Kenya indicates an alarming rate of sexually abused minors presenting to poorly equipped health facilities with untrained health providers for post rape care. National guidelines on management of sexual violence have been in existence since 2004; however, little is known on the impact of these guidelines on post rape care provision to minors. Therefore, the study aims to assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of health providers with regard to post rape care provision in a Kenyan District health facility. The study used a triangulation of different qualitative methods: review of 42 health records of minors seeking post rape care, 15 in-depth interviews, and informal conversations with health providers. Findings indicate that the Kenyan national guidelines on management of sexual violence were nonexistent in the health facility. Consequently, health providers possessed limited knowledge on post rape care administration. The limited knowledge translated to poor collection and preservation of evidence, inadequate psychosocial support, and clinical care. In addition, rape myth attitudes and religious beliefs contributed to survivor blaming and provider hesitance in provision of legal abortion care, respectively. To facilitate provision of quality post rape care, policy makers and health institutions' managers need to avail protocols in line with evidence-based best practices to guide health providers in post rape care administration. In addition, there is need for rigorous training and supervision of health professionals to ensure better service provision.

Keywords: attitudes; child sexual abuse; guidelines; health providers; knowledge; sexual assault care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery of Health Care / standards
  • Female
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Personnel / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Minors*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Rape*