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J Adolesc Health. 2014 Dec;55(6 Suppl):S58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.08.022. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

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.

Author information

1
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland. Electronic address: mdecker@jhsph.edu.
2
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
3
Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan/University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
4
Population Council, New Delhi, India.
5
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan/University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.
6
Shanghai Institute of Planned Parenthood Research, Shanghai, China.
7
Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute, School of Clinical Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Intimate partner violence; Sexual violence

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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