Prevalence and correlates of physical violence and rape among female sex workers in Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study with respondent-driven sampling from 11 major towns

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the prevalence and correlates of physical violence and rape among female sex workers (FSWs) in Ethiopia.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study using respondent-driven sampling technique.

SETTING: Eleven major towns in Ethiopia.

PARTICIPANTS: 4900 FSWs.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The prevalence of experiences of physical beating and rape.

RESULTS: Among FSWs, 17.5% reported physical beating within the last year and 15.2% reported rape since they started selling sex. FSWs aged 35+ years (AOR 0.59, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.92) were less exposed to physical beating than those aged 15-24 years. FSWs working on the street (AOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.53 to 2.39), in red-light houses (AOR 1.63, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.38) and in local drinking houses (AOR 1.35, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.78) experienced more physical beating than FSWs working in bars/hotels. FSWs who consumed alcohol four or more days in a week (AOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.21 to 3.04), and who chewed khat frequently experienced more physical violence. Rape was associated with having a low monthly income, drinking alcohol four or more days per week (AOR 2.33, 95% CI 1.47 to 3.7), experience of heavy episodic drinking in a month (AOR 1.71, 95% CI 1.24 to 2.38) and chewing khat 3-4 days per week (AOR 2.15, 95% CI 1.55 to 2.98). Condom breakage was more frequent among FSWs who reported both physical beating (AOR 1.51, 95% CI 1.25 to 1.84) and rape (AOR 1.26, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.55).

CONCLUSION: FSWs in Ethiopia are vulnerable to physical and sexual violence, and the risk increases when they are younger, street-based and high consumers of alcohol or khat. Therefore, targeted efforts are needed for prevention and harm reduction.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Ethiopian Public Health Institute
  • Armauer Hansen Research Institute
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere028247
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalBMJ Open
Volume9
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 30
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

Bibliographic note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.