|Prevalence and factors associated with sexual violence among women aged 15–49 years in rural Uganda: evidence from the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey 2016|
||Joseph Kawuki, Quraish Sserwanja, David Mukunya, Abigail Sitsope Sepenu, and Milton Wamboko Musaba
||Public Health, Volume 196; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2021.05.004
||Objectives: Sexual violence is a serious global health problem with short- and long-term physical, mental, and reproductive adverse effects. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with sexual violence among women of reproductive age in rural Uganda.
Study design: This was a cross-sectional study based on the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2016 data.
Methods: UDHS 2016 data for 5259 rural women aged 15–49 years were used in this study. Multistage stratified sampling was used to select participants, and data were collected using validated questionnaires. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with sexual violence. All analyses we carried out in SPSS (version 25).
Results: The overall prevalence of sexual violence among rural women was 24.3% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 23.4–25.7) compared with 18.4% (95% CI: 17.0–20.7) among urban women. Rural women who had received only primary education had higher odds of sexual violence compared with those who had received tertiary education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 3.01, 95% CI: 1.17–7.72). Women living in the Western region were more likely to experience sexual violence than those living in the Northern region of Uganda (AOR = 2.01, 95% CI: 1.41–2.87). In addition, women in the poorest wealth quintile had higher odds of sexual violence compared with those in the richest quintile (AOR = 2.06, 95% CI: 1.02–4.17). Women justifying beating, health care decision-making, and husband's/partner's frequency of getting drunk were also significantly associated with sexual violence.
Conclusions: The prevalence of sexual violence among rural Ugandan women was high and is associated with factors such as educational level, region, wealth index, justified beating, health care decision-making, and husband's/partner's frequency of getting drunk. Thus, there is a need to improve the livelihoods and income of rural women, including the promotion of continued education for girls, as well as to strengthen protective laws and policies to curb this public health issue.