ISSN: 2690-0815
International Journal of Sexual and Reproductive Health Care
Research Article       Open Access      Peer-Reviewed

Proportion and associated factors of sexual violence among female night junior school students in Gondar town, Northwest, Ethiopia, 2019

Woynhareg Kassa Tiruneh1*, Terefe Derso2 and Moges Muluneh Boke1

1Reproductive Health Department, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
2Department of Human Nutrition, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Science, University of Gondar,196, Ethiopia
*Corresponding author: Woynhareg Kassa Tiruneh, Reproductive Health Department, Institute of Public Health, University of Gondar, Ethiopia, Tel: +251931863314; E-mail: woynaregkasa21@gmail.com
Received: 30 December, 2021 | Accepted: 03 March, 2022 | Published: 04 March, 2022
Keywords: Sexual violence; Night; Female; Students; Junior school; Ethiopia

Cite this as

Tiruneh WK, Derso T, Boke MM (2022) Proportion and associated factors of sexual violence among female night junior school students in Gondar town, Northwest, Ethiopia, 2019. Int J Sex Reprod Health Care 5(1): 001-007. DOI: 10.17352/ijsrhc.000032

Copyright Licence

© 2022 Tiruneh WK, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Introduction: Sexual violence is a series public of health problems and human right issues affecting millions of people each year throughout the world with short and long-term impacts on women and girls’ physical, mental, sexual, and reproductive health. Therefore, this study aims to assess the magnitude of sexual violence and associated factors among night school female students in the study area.

Methods: Institution-based cross-sectional study design was conducted among 422 night junior school female students in Gondar town, Northwest, Ethiopia. Participants were selected by using simple random sampling and data were collected by self - administered structured questionnaire. Data entry and analysis was done by EPI info version 7 and SPSS statistical packages version 20 respectively and descriptive statistics were done. Moreover, binary logistic regression analyses were also carried out to identify factors associated with sexual violence.

Results: In this study, the mean age (+_SD) study participants was 19.3±3.1years. The the proportion of school life sexual violence in this study was found to be 63.4% with a 95% the confidence interval of (57.9, 67.1). the overall 91 (21.9%) of the participants were faced attempted rape in their school life. Regarding sexual harassment at least one form of sexual harassment was reported among 244 (58.8%) from these 135 (32.5%) unwanted sexual Act/asked to have sex, about 152(36.6%) faced unwelcome touching body parts like breast, and 131 (31.6%) faced unwelcome kissing. School life sexual violence was positively associated with those females who had ever started sexual intercourse (AOR= 0.58, 95%CI, 0.362, 0.924), being rural child-hood residence (AOR=) 1.9, 95%CI 1.2,2.9) and traveling more than 30 minutes from school to home (AOR= 2.2,95%CI, 1.124, 4.452).

Conclusion: The proportion of sexual violence in this study area was relatively high and it was significantly associated with being a rural child -hood residence. Therefore, appropriate intervention is needed Especially those students who grew up in a rural areas during the child-hood period.

Acronyms

AOR: Adjusted Odds Ratio; CI: Confidence Interval; GBV: Gender-Based Violence; HIV: Human Immune Virus; IPV: Interparental Violence; SPSS: Statically Package for Social Science; VAW: Violence Against Women; WHO: World Health Organization

Introduction

Violence is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either result in o has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation [1].

Sexual violence is a severe public health problem that has drawn global attention as a worldwide problem [2]. Sexual violence results in short and long-term adverse psychological and social outcomes. Sexual violence is any sexual act or attempts to obtain a sexual act, or other act directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and workplace [3]. Sexual violence is the most common form of GBV (Gender-Based Violence) occurred in schools including rape, attempt rape, sexual harassment, coercion, sexual abuse, sexual contact with force, that could be performed on women and girls against their consent or will by using physical force or any other means [4]. It is a fundamental violation of the human right to liberty and freedom from fear and is now recognized as a public health priority [5]. It is common among children, adolescents and women both in industrial and developing nations [6,7]. Worldwide, an estimated 1 in 3 women are physically or sexually abused; and 1 in 5 experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime [2]. A cross-sectional study was done in Nigeria among private and public secondary schools to assess GBV showed that the prevalence of sexual violence is estimated to be Public 41.4% vs Private 37.4% [8]. The study conducted in Nigeria high school students showed that the prevalence of lifetime rape and attempted rapes were 15% and 27% respectively [9].

According to the study conducted on Ethiopian University female students, Lifetime sexual violence was found to be 45.4%. However, 36.1% and 24.4% of respondents reported experiencing sexual violence since entering university and in the current academic years respectively [10]. However, the most common type of violence experienced by women is intimate partner violence, School adolescents can be victimized at school that may be verbal harassment, physical in nature, such as unwanted touching and contact. It can also, be more overtly violent as in cases where girls are sexually assaulted or raped on or near school premises [11].

A growing number of studies, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, indicate that the first sexual experience of girls is often unwanted and forced [12]. Different factors increase women’s vulnerability to sexual violence. Among those the most important ones for victims or females are consuming alcohol and other drugs, being young and poverty [11].

According to EDHS 2016 report, Sexual violence is the most pervasive problem affecting young adolescents rather than old age population groups. Women and girls face physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that undermine their health and ability to earn a living, disrupt their social systems and relationships. Studies in Ethiopia indicated 50% - 60% of women experienced violence in their lifetime [13].

Studies related to sexual violence among junior night school female students in the study the area is limited. The majority of studies related to sexual violence among female students were conducted on regular school programs. However, night school attendants were vulnerable to sexual violence due to the nature of schooling arrangement time leads to an opportunity to harm them. Therefore, this study aimed to provide information about the proportion and its associated factors of sexual violence among junior night female students providing appropriate intervention based on the result.

Methods

An institution-based cross-sectional study design was conducted from March 10 to March 30, 2019 among night junior school female students in Gondar town, Northwest, Ethiopia.

Study area and setting

Gondar town is one of the historical and tourist destination places in Ethiopia. It is located 727 Kilometers North West to Addis Ababa near the Sudanese border. Based on 2007 a national census conducted by the Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia (CSA), Gondar had a total population of 207,044, of whom 55.98,120 were men and 108,924 women. There are 13 high schools and 43 elementary schools, among those only7 elementary schools were given night education programs. The total number of night school students were 1932 among those 910 males and 1022 females. The study was conducted from March to April 2019. The source population were all night junior school female students in Gondar town, Northwest, Ethiopia.

Sample size and sampling procedure

A single population proportion formula was used with the assumption of 95% confidence level, 5% margins of error, and the prevalence of sexual violence among night school a female student was 10% non-response rate, finally, the estimated sample size for this the study was considered to be 422.

The population was all night school female students during the study period. The the sampling frame was prepared by using student lists from the registration book. School consisted of grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 and there were no sections in each grade, the rosters of the students were used as a sampling frame and the number of study subjects from each school was allocated proportionally to the number of female students. Then the whole selected participants from each school were included in the study during the data collection process.

Operational definition

Sexual violence: Is defined as a female experiencing one of the following types of violence such as rape, attempted rape, and sexual harassment any time during their school life [14].

Completed rape: Is considered when a girl has ever been physically forced to have sex with someone against her will [15].

Attempted Rape: Is defined as a trial to have sexual intercourse without consent by physical bodily harm, by threatening or deception, or when the victim is incapable of giving consent but without actual sexual intercourse [16].

Sexual Harassment: When a girl experienced one of the following sexual behaviors, unwelcome kiss, verbal comments, and unwanted touch genital body parts and questions to have sex, suggestions that are intentionally done on girls [14].

Data collection tools and procedures

A Self-administered structured questionnaire was formulated from different kinds of literature [8,15,17]. The questionnaire includes socio-demographic characteristics, family history, sexual, history, and history of sexual violence performed throughout their school life.

Two supervisors and ten females who were completed grades 10 and 12 were participate in the data collection process after two day’s intensive training was given to the data collectors and supervisors on how to conduct the data collection process.

Data quality control

To assure the quality of the data, the questionnaire was prepared in English version and translated into the local language Amharic for better understanding by the respondents and again retranslated back to English. The questionnaire was pretested among 5% [18] of the study sample size outside of the study area and necessary modification was made accordingly after the pretest result. The data collectors and supervisors were given two days training on data collection technique and procedure Supervision was done by supervisors to check completeness, and consistency of the collected data throughout the data collection period and the overall supervision of data collection processes were done by the principal investigator.

Data processing and analysis

Each questionnaire was checked manually, coded, and entered into EPI info version 7 and imported to statistical package of social science (SPSS) Version 20.0 for further analysis. The descriptive results expressed using summary statistics such as mean, standard deviation, frequency, and percentage. A binary logistic regression model was fitted to determine the factors associated with sexual violence. Variables with a p-value less than 0.2 in bivariate analysis were entered into multivariable logistic regressions to determine factors independently associated with sexual violence.

The odd ratio with 95% confidence interval was used to determine factors independently associated with sexual violence.

Results

Social-demographic characteristics of the study participants

A total of 415 female night junior school students in Gondar town participated in this a study giving a response rate of 98.3%. The mean age (SD) of study participants was 19.3±3.1 year. From the total study participants, the majority of 109 (26.3%) and 107 (25.8%) were grade 5 and 8 students respectively. Regarding the religious status, the majority of the study participants 394 (94.7%) were orthodox flowers as well as the majority of respondents 247 (59.5%) were grown in rural areas during childhood period. Majority of study participants 154 (37.1%) were live with their employers. Two hundred and eighty –eight (69.4%) of the participant females had monthly pocket money of <550 Birr Table 1.

Socio-demographic characteristics of the family

The majority of study participants 220 (53%) had parents who were living together, 98 (23.6%) were their parent were separated, 74 (17.8%) were only father/mother alive, and 23 (5.5%) were both mother and their father not alive. Regarding family control status, the majority of study participants 181 (43.6%) was tight followed by 108 (26%) was no control at all. Concerning family monthly income status, in Birr majority of 259 (62.4%) study participants had their family monthly income was below1000 Ethiopian Birr and 54 (13%) study participants had monthly income above 2500 Birr.

Substance use status of study participants

Among the total study participants, only a few students 5 (1.2%) were reported to chew chat, from those 4(1%) chew once or twice a week. Regarding the drinking status of the study participants, only 41 (9.9%) had drunk alcohol, among those who had drunk alcohol 14 (34.1) had drunk once or three times a month and 10 (24.4%) had drunk alcohol once or three times a week, from the total study participants 16 (3.9%) had boy /girlfriends who drink alcohol. Regarding substance use status like cocaine, shisha all of them did not use it.

Sexual history of study participants

Among 415 study participants,132 (31.8%) respondents were reported to have started sexual intercourse. Over those reported to had ever sexual intercourse, majority of 83 (62.9%) of them were found in the age group of 15-19 years and 23(17.4%) of respondents were below the age of 15 years, 22 (19.7%) of respondents were above the age of 18 years. The mean age at sexual initiation was 16.8 ±2.6 SD year. Among those who had ever sexual intercourse, the main reason for sexual initiation was 41 (31.1%) due to personal desire, 14 (10.6%) of them by force, and through peer pressure 24 (18.3%) Figure 1.

The magnitude of various forms of sexual violence among female night junior school students

Among the total 415-night school female students, only 31 (7.5%) in this study was reported to have been raped at least once in their school life. Regarding the time when the event occurred almost majority 25 (80.6%) of rape cases occurred during night time. The overall prevalence of any form of sexual violence in this study finding was 263 216 (63.4%) with 95% CI (57.8, 67.9) Overall 91 (21.9 %) of the participants have faced an attempted rape in their school life. Among those who faced attempted rape, the mechanisms used to escape was mainly by running 25 (27.5%) followed by giving an appointment 21 (23.5%). Mechanisms used to escape from the attempted rape among night junior school female students in Gondar town, 2019 Figure 2.

In concerning sexual harassment at least one form of sexual harassment was reported among 244 (58.8%) from these 135 (32.5%), unwanted sexual Acts/asked to have sex, about 152 (36.6%) faced unwelcome touching of a body part like breast, and 131 (31.6%) faced unwelcome kissing.

Source of information about sexual violence

Regarding the source of information about various forms of sexual violence, the majority 97 (23.4%) was obtained from mass media such as TV, Radio followed by 90 (21.7%) was obtain from school/teachers, 70 (16.1%) no any source of information, 63 (15.2%) from health professionals, and 50 (12.1%) from family members, 45 (10.8%) from their friends Figure 3.

Factors associated with sexual violence

To assess the relationship between dependent and independent variables: logistic the regression analysis methodwas used. In binary logistic regression analysis child-hood residence, and sexually related factors such as had ever sex, distance from home to school, and, alcohol drinking, seen mother beaten by her husband, were associated with sexual violence. whereas, in the multivariable logistic regression analysis, the covariates: being rural childhood residence had ever sex, distance from home to school, were statistically associated with sexual violence among night junior school female students. The odds of experiences sexual violence were decreased by 42% as compared with those who had ever sex as compared with not having sex. (AOR= 0.58, 95% CI (0.362, 0.924). Females who grew up in rural areas during childhood period were 2 times (AOR=1.900, 95% CI 1.245, 2.895) experience sexual violence than those who grew up in urban areas during child-hood period.

The odds of experiencing sexual violence were higher among those who traveled more then 30 minutes from school to home as compared with those traveling less or equal to 30 minutes, (AOR= 2.237,95% CI,1.124,4.452) Table 2.

Discussion

This study aimed to assess sexual violence among night junior school female students in Gondar town. The magnitude of sexual violence in night Junior school was 63.4%, 95% (CI 57.8, 67.9). Being rural childhood residence had ever sexual intercourse, and traveling distance from school to home had a significant association with sexual violence.

This study result was higher than the study one to assess sexual violence in schools and colleges conducted in Butajira, Dilla, Harare, Bahirdar private college female students with a prevalence of sexual violence was 32.8%, 13.2%, 25%, 37.3% respectively [9,10,19,20].

The possible explanation might be due to the current study being conducted in night school students and different educational levels of study participants, the security status of the school compound, students’ knowledge and accessibility of information regarding sexual violence and how to protect themselves and night students might be busy may not have enough time to get information by listening to mass media.

In another way, the current study finding is in line with the study conducted in Debark with prevalence of sexual violence was 65.3% [21]. The current study is higher than the study done in Ethiopian university female students with the prevalence of lifetime sexual violence is 45.4%, and Medawolabo University 41.1% of lifetime prevalence of sexual violence and 36.1% and 24.4% of respondents reported experiencing sexual violence since entering university and in the current academic year respectively [8,18,22].

The possible explanation might be due to the difference in age and Socio-cultural status and the difference in the study setting, security status of the school compound and university students were living inside the school compound, but our study students live outside the school compound and attending their education program by traveling a far distance from their school to home as result, they were vulnerable to various forms of sexual violence.

The current study is higher than the study done in Hawassa University female students revealed that the prevalence of sexual violence is 14.3% [12]. The possible explanation is the current study measure sexual violence includes the forms of sexual violence such as rape attempted rape, and harassment in addition the current study is conducted in the night school students but the study was done in Hawassa University female students, sexual violence is considered only in rape cases and differences in the social-demographic status of study participants as well as difference in security status of the school compound. In this the study being rural childhood residence had ever sexual intercourse and Travelling distance from home to school were associated factors of sexual violence among female night school students in the study area. This study found that females who were grown up in rural areas during the childhood period were 2 times more likely to face sexual violence than those who were grown up in urban areas. This finding is supported by a study conducted among university female students [15]. This might be childhood residence is important to develop an awareness of sexual violence and behavioral change regarding protecting themselves. Females who had ever sexual intercourse are 42% less likely to face sexual violence than those females who didn’t have ever sexual intercourse. The possible reason might be a way of sexual initiation is due to marriage, since having husbanded or boyfriend is a protective factor considered as guard. A female who traveled more than 30 minutes from school to home was 2 times more likely to face sexual violence than those who travel less or equal to 30 minutes.

This might be since the situation is night traveling far distance is a risk for females for facing sexual violence.

Limitation of the study

The first limitation although efforts were made to minimize the presence of unreported case since sexual violence is a sensitive issue, respondents may not provide their actual experience it might be underestimating the magnitude of the problem.

The second limitation is the incompleteness of the questionnaire even though a great effort may be done to check its completeness while receiving the questionnaire.

The third limitation of this study is only assessing the proportion of sexual violence only the victim’s side or females and it is difficult to conclude for both sexes.

Conclusions and recommendations

This study identified the proportion of sexual violence as 63.4% and was considered relatively high. Being rural childhood residence, traveling distance from school to home and had ever sex were statistically significant factors with sexual violence. Therefore, creating safe routing for their way to school and home is necessary. Using mini media in school to sensitize on how to prevent and protect female students from sexual violence.

Involve interested stakeholders in violence reduction and prevention programs in opening night education programs in all available schools in Gondar town and it should be identifying the gap in violence and setting a strategy to solve this problem.

Declarations

Ethical approval and consent to participate: Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ethical review board of the Institute of the Public The Health University of Gondar. Communication with Gondar town educational bureau and school administrators were made through formal letters obtained from the University of Gondar. After explaining the purpose of the study a voluntary verbal and written informed consent and assent were obtained from the study participants before data collection.

Participants were informed that participation is on a voluntary basis and they can withdraw at any time if they weren’t comfortable with the questionnaire.

Availability of data and material: All the required data are available in the main document and submitted as reasonable request

Funding information: This is part of a master thesis funded by the University of Gondar. This funding organization has no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Author’s contributions

WK designed the study, developed data collection tools, performed the analysis and interpretation of data. TD and MM participated in the development of the study proposal, analysis, interpretation, and revised drafts of the paper. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

We would like to extend our gratitude thanks to Gondar University, Colleague of Medicine and health science institute of public health for giving ethical clearance and the financial support for this study. We are very thankful is extended to Gondar town Education office directorate and school heads for their cooperativeness and provision of supportive letters.

Finally, we would like to thank study participants for their volunteer participation and also data collectors and supervisors for their genuineness and quality of work during data collection.

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