Prevalence and health impact of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence among female adolescents aged 15–19 years in vulnerable urban environments: A multi-country study
Purpose: Globally, adolescent women are at risk for gender-based violence (GBV) including sexual violence and intimate partner violence (IPV). Those in economically distressed settings are considered uniquely vulnerable. Methods: Female adolescents aged 15–19 from Baltimore, Maryland, USA; New Delhi, India; Ibadan, Nigeria; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Shanghai, China (n = 1,112) were recruited via respondent-driven sampling to participate in a cross-sectional survey. We describe the prevalence of past-year physical and sexual IPV, and lifetime and past-year non-partner sexual violence. Logistic regression models evaluated associations of GBV with substance use, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and self-rated health. Results: Among ever-partnered women, past-year IPV prevalence ranged from 10.2% in Shanghai to 36.6% in Johannesburg. Lifetime non-partner sexual violence ranged from 1.2% in Shanghai to 12.6% in Johannesburg. Where sufficient cases allowed additional analyses (Baltimore and Johannesburg), both IPV and non-partner sexual violence were associated with poor health across domains of substance use, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and self-rated health; associations varied across study sites. Conclusions: Significant heterogeneity was observed in the prevalence of IPV and non-partner sexual violence among adolescent women in economically distressed urban settings, with upwards of 25% of ever-partnered women experiencing past-year IPV in Baltimore, Ibadan, and Johannesburg, and more than 10% of adolescent women in Baltimore and Johannesburg reporting non-partner sexual violence. Findings affirm the negative health influence of GBV even in disadvantaged urban settings that present a range of competing health threats. A multisectoral response is needed to prevent GBV against young women, mitigate its health impact, and hold perpetrators accountable.
Decker, Michele R., Sarah M. Peitzmeier, Adesola Olumide, Rajib Acharya, Oladosu Ojengbede, Laura Covarrubias, Gao Ersheng, Yan Cheng, Sinead Delany-Moretlwe, and Heena Brahmbhatt. 2014. "Prevalence and health impact of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence among female adolescents aged 15–19 years in vulnerable urban environments: A multi-country study," Journal of Adolescent Health 55(6): S58–S67.