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Lifetime and Child Sexual Violence, Risk Factors and Mental Health Correlates Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults in Haiti: A Public Health Emergency

Published onMay 29, 2022
Lifetime and Child Sexual Violence, Risk Factors and Mental Health Correlates Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults in Haiti: A Public Health Emergency
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Lifetime and Child Sexual Violence, Risk Factors and Mental Health Correlates Among a Nationally Representative Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults in Haiti: A Public Health Emergency
Description

Very little is known in Haiti and the Caribbean regarding child and lifetime sexual victimization. Using a nationally representative sample of adolescents and young adults aged 15–24, this study aimed to document the prevalence, risk factors and mental health correlates of lifetime and child sexual violence in Haiti. A national cross-sectional surrvey was conducted in Haiti, using a multistage sampling frame, stratified by geographical department, urban or rural setting, gender, and age groups (15–19 and 20–24 years). The final sample included 3586 household participants (47.6% female). A weighted sample of 3945 individuals was obtained and used in the following analyses. Overall rate of lifetime and child sexual violence was, respectively, 27.44% (95% CI 25.94–28.94) and 11.27% (95% CI 10.18–12.35). Lifetime sexual violence rate was significantly higher among female participants (29.02%; 95% CI 27.5–30.55) compared to male (25.73%, 95% CI 24.26–27.2), χ 2 = 4.63, p < .05, but there was no significant gender difference for child sexual victimization. Experiences of family physical violence, emotional abuse by mother and father, divorce of parents, and other physical violence were strongly associated with higher odds of sexual victimization. Participants who reported having experienced sexual violence are more at risk to meet criteria of PTSD (OR = 1.96, 95% CI 1.66–2.32; p < .0001), depression (OR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.47–2.02; p < .0001), psychological distress (OR =1.72, 95% CI 1.47–2.02; p < .0001), and substance abuse (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.13–1.57; p < .0001). Findings demonstrate that sexual violence is a public health emergency in Haiti. They provide evidence for the development of prevention and intervention programs.

 

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