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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-7

Knowledge, awareness, and attitude about sexual harassment among saudi preparatory and secondary school students in Western Region, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

1 Department of Forensic Medicine, Forensic Medicine Center, Jeddah, Ministry of Health, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Medical Researcher, Ibn Sina National College for Medical Studies, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Preventive Medicine Resident, Al Madinah Residency Program of Preventive Medicine, King Faisal Hospital, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Internal Medicine Resident, Internal Medicine Residency Program, King Faisal Hospital, Makkah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Mamdouh Kamal Zaki
2502-Al-Faisaleyah District, Zip Code 23442, Additional Number 8859, Jeddah
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjfms.sjfms_4_19

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Background: Sexual harassment among school students is a critical public health issue associated with considerable physical and psychological consequences. In Islamic countries, the issue is more problematic because most of the victims would not report their harassment for fear of social stigma. Aim of Work: The current work aims to assess knowledge and attitude toward sexual harassment among middle and secondary school Saudi students in Makkah, Jeddah, and Al-Madinah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the study aims to promote awareness about the knowledge of sexual harassment among selected study group. Subjects and Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in the three cities based on educational administration official approval in the period of 3 months from January to March 2018. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ministry of Education's general departments of education in Makkah, Jeddah, and Al-Madinah, and informed consent forms were offered for all participants' guardians before conducting it. Data were collected through a predesigned validated self-administered face-to-face questionnaire of six questions. The questionnaire was distributed to almost 27,000 students at schools addressing questions about sexual harassment. The research team presented a prequestionnaire presentation to define sexual harassment before participation. Results: Among 27,636 respondents, 38% and 35% reported that media and friends' experience were the source of sexual knowledge, respectively. Age, gender, and residency were significant determinants of the level of knowledge about sexual harassment.Conclusion and Recommendations: There is a significant lack of knowledge and awareness about sexual harassment among Saudi students. Health-care, media, and social authorities are highly recommended to adopt new health education strategies that target those vulnerable students as well their parents, to improve their knowledge about sexual harassment, and to modulate their attitudes toward this problem whenever happened. A nationwide survey is needed to assess the whole problem.

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