Intimate partner violence among young women and men in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), South Africa
South African Medical Research Council, South Africa
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1320
South Africa has one of the highest rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) globally. Although there is abundant research on IPV against women with men as perpetrators, there is limited research on men as victims of IPV. To address this gap, we conducted an analysis of reported lifetime physical IPV (PIPV), emotional IPV (EIPV), and composite IPV (CIPV) by gender.

We administered 2,581 questionnaires focused on sexual behavior and violence as part of a prospective cohort study among young women aged 15-24 years and men aged 15-35 years in uMgungundlovu District, South Africa between August 2021-July 2022. Descriptive analysis and multivariate logistic regressions were performed.

Of total participants, 16% (n=411) reported experiencing at least one form of IPV in their lifetime. Of 1649 women surveyed, 14.7% reported experiencing CIPV, 8.7% PIPV, and 9.5% EIPV. Of 941 men surveyed, 18.5% reported experiencing CIPV, 7.7% PIPV, and 14.4% EIPV. Women who consumed alcohol 2-4 times per week and those who always experienced condom refusal were more likely to report experiencing CIPV (adjusted odds ratios (aORs)=5.17, 2.36; 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 1.55-17.29, 1.19-4.70), EIPV (aORs=9.28, 2.72; 95%CIs: 2.42-35.54, 1.30-5.68), and PIPV (aORs=5.27, 3.64; 95%CIs: 1.40-19.90, 1.68-7.87), respectively. Men who reported high food insecurity and those who participated in transactional sex were more likely to report experiencing CIPV (aORs=4.29, 2.43; 95%CIs: 1.15-15.92, 1.39-4.27) and EIPV (aORs=5.34, 2.11; 95%CIs: 1.19-23.99, 1.02-4.33), respectively. HIV-positive men were more likely to report experiencing PIPV than HIV-negative men (aOR=7.17; 95%CI: 1.73-29.76).

We found differences in factors affecting young women and men who experience IPV, with proportionally more men than women as victims of CIPV and EIPV. Our findings indicate the need for additional research and interventions targeted towards men as victims of IPV, prioritizing those with high food insecurity and those who transact sex.

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