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The Violent Truth: What Children Say About Teenage Pregnancy Will Make Cry

Children in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa researched the causes and effects of teenage pregnancy in their communities.

Children shared stories of rape on the way to market, abuse by schoolteachers, and large numbers of girls forced into transactional relationships due to extreme poverty and the high cost of schooling.

The children discovered that when girls became pregnant, it was overwhelmingly a result of sexual abuse by an adult, including school teachers. The children perceived the prevalence of rape, early marriage, and forced sex work in their communities to be shockingly high. The child researchers repeatedly suggested that poverty put girls at greater risk of sexual violence, as it forced them into transactional relationships, generally with older adult men.

The young researchers called on their governments and local authorities to uphold the law and bring the perpetrators of rape and sexual abuse to justice. They also asked for economic opportunities to prevent girls from being forced into marriage or sex for money.

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Africa Violent Truth sub-Saharan

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