The epidemiology of rape and sexual violence in the platinum mining district of Rustenburg, South Africa: Prevalence, and factors associated with sexual violence.
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AbstractBACKGROUND: Estimates for the prevalence of rape and other forms of sexual violence (SV) vary in South Africa. This survey aimed to provide clarity by quantifying the prevalence of SV (forced sex or sexual acts) by 1) sexual partners, and 2) non-partners, and to describe factors associated with these outcomes among women (18-49 years) living in Rustenburg Municipality. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cluster-randomized household survey (November-December 2015). Women were asked about their experiences of SV, associated attitudes and behaviours, and access to services. Logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with partner and non-partner SV. RESULTS: Of eligible households, 83·1% (1700/2044) participated. Of 966 women invited, 836 participated (86·5%). Average age of participants was 31.6 years (95%CI: 30·9, 32·4) with 45% having completed at least secondary school, and 60% unemployed or looking for work. Lifetime prevalence of SV was 24.9% (95%CI: 21·7-28·5), reaching 9.0% (95% CI: 6·6-12·1) by age 15. Almost one third told no one of their SV experiences. Factors related to financial dependence were associated with SV by a partner. History of termination of pregnancy increased the likelihood of SV by a non-partner as an adult. Women who experienced SV in childhood or as an adult were more likely to experience SV from a different type of perpetrator than those who did not. CONCLUSIONS: We found a high prevalence of SV, including during childhood, in this setting, with limited access to care. This and the high morbidity attributed to SV calls for increased service provision.
PublisherPublic Library of Sciences