Utilization of child helpline (CHL) among adolescents in Saudi Arabia: Results from a national survey
Child & Family Social Work
Majid A. Al‐Eissa
King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health SciencesRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
National Family Safety Program, King Abdulaziz Medical City—Ministry of National Guard Health AffairsRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
Year of Publication:
This study determines the rate of adolescents’ interest in disclosing their exposure to abuse or neglect through a child helpline (CHL) and identifies the factors influencing disclosure through the line. A cross‐sectional, national survey utilizing ISPCAN Child Abuse Screening Tool‐Children’s Home Version was conducted in secondary high schools in the main 5 provinces of Saudi Arabia. Boys and girls from public and private schools were selected to participate. Students (N = 16,010) aged 15–18 years were invited to complete the survey. The relationship between willingness to utilize CHL and demographic characteristics of the participants were evaluated using chi‐square test. Approximately, half (48%) of the participants reported their willingness to utilize a future CHL if they experienced any type of abuse in the past. Significant difference in age, gender, areas of residence, and abuse experience were found in terms of willingness to utilize CHL, and it was more likely among older age (17–18 years), boys, urban area, and abused participants (p < .01). Participants who reported experiencing multiple forms of abuse, neglect, and psychological abuse were 1.3, 1.9, and 1.2 times, respectively, more likely willing to utilize CHL. Educating adolescents about the utilization of CHL through awareness‐raising activities might reduce the prevalence of child abuse.