Prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual abuse of women in three South African provinces

Jewkes, RK; Penn-Kekana, L; Levin, J; Ratsaka, M; Schrieber, M; (2001) Prevalence of emotional, physical and sexual abuse of women in three South African provinces. South African Medical Journal, 91 (5). pp. 421-8. ISSN 0256-9574

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INTRODUCTION: There is growing recognition in the ranks of the South African government that violence against women is a serious problem facing us all. Until now data on the epidemiology of violence against women in South Africa have been scanty. This report presents the findings of the first major community-based prevalence study. OBJECTIVES: To describe the prevalence of physical, sexual, financial, and emotional abuse of women. METHODS: A cross-sectional study conducted in the Eastern Cape (EC), Mpumalanga (MP) and the Northern Province (NP). The sample included one randomly selected woman aged 18-49 years living in each of 2,232 households. The sample was drawn using stratified, multistage, random methods, and 1,306 questionnaires were completed, giving a 90.3% response rate after adjusting for households without an eligible woman. RESULTS: The prevalences of ever having been physically abused by a current or ex-partner were 26.8% (EC), 28.4% (MP) and 19.1% (NP). The prevalences of abuse in the last year were 10.9% (EC), 11.9% (MP) and 4.5% (NP). The prevalences of rape were 4.5% (EC), 7.2% (MP) and 4.8% (NP). Considerable emotional and financial abuse was also reported, e.g. the prevalences of a partner having boasted about or brought home girlfriends in the previous year were 5.0% (EC), 10.4% (MP) and 7.0% (NP): The prevalences of physical abuse during a pregnancy were 9.1% (EC), 6.7% (MP) and 4.7% (NP). The proportions of abused women who were injured in the year before the survey were 34.5% (EC), 48.0% (MP) and 60.0% (NP). CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first large-scale, community-based prevalence study to be undertaken in South Africa.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Cross-Sectional Studies, Educational Status, Female, Human, Incidence, Marital Status, statistics & numerical data, Middle Age, Needs Assessment, Population Surveillance, Pregnancy, Prevalence, Questionnaires, South Africa, epidemiology, Spouse Abuse, prevention & control, statistics & numerical data, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 11455808
Web of Science ID: 169618700025


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