Survivors of Gender Based Violence in a major recovery Center in Nairobi, Kenya; a retrospective study on characteristic, prevalence, trends and correlates between 2006 and 2009

Penina Nabwire Gathuri, Peter Ng’ang’a, Musa Otieno Ngayo, Maxwell Omondi


Background: Gender-based violence (GBV) is an endemic perpetrated mainly against women and children that results in physical, sexual or psycho-social harm. Globally about one in three women experience GBV in her lifetime while in Kenya about 50 % of women experience GBV in their lifetime, which is currently among the highest rates in the world. While various report exists highlighting various forms of GBV in Kenya, data are skewed on the trends and correlates of GBV in Kenya. Objective: This retrospective study characterized the survivors of GBV attending a major Gender Violence Recovery Center (GVRC) in Nairobi Kenya and evaluated the trends and factors associated with GBV between 2006 and 2009. Methods: This study, obtained permission from the hospital to retrieve data from past records of d 384 GBV survivors who were recruited from different parts of Kenya. A sociodemographic based questionnaire and Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) were used to gather information relevant to this study. The data was analyzed for central tendencies as well as for any associations and correlations. Results: The mean of the 384 GBV survivors was 19.79 (SD = 11.8; range 1-70) years while 90.4% of them were female. Among the survivors, 55.5% were single (never married before), 52.9% had primary and lower education level, while 70.6% were unemployed. Rape (46%) was the most common type of GBV. Other GBV types included defilement (26%), domestic/physical violence (17%), sexual violence and sodomy (4%). Of all the GBV, a quarter (39.3%) occurred at night (9 pm to 5am). The year 2007 and 2008 was marked by high level of GBV at 35.9% and 32.8% respectively while 96.2% occurred in the later months of year (October, November and December). Penetrative GBV was common among survivors who knew their perpetrator OR 0.7 (95% CI 0.6 to 0.9); in the years 2006 OR 1.9(95% CI 1.2 to 3.1), 2007 OR 1.7(95% CI 1.1 to 2.5) and 2008 OR 1.7(95% CI 1.2 to 3.6). Defilement was common among survivors who had primary level education OR 6.7 (95% CI 2.7 to 16.9), who knew their perpetrators OR 1.8 (95%CI 1.2 to 2.8), in the morning hours OR 2.7 (95% CI 1.5 to 4.9) and afternoon hours OR 3.9 (95% CI 2.2 to 6.8). Further, defilement was more common in the year 2006 OR 2.7 (95% CI 1.2 to 5.8). Domestic violence was likely to occur among survivors aged 30 to 40 years OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.1 to 3.6) and those who knew their perpetrators OR 41.2 (95%CI 5.7 to 300). Rape was common among survivors who were aged 19 to 29 years OR 2.3 (95% CI 1.6 to 3.3) or 30 to 40 years OR 2 (95% CI 4 to 2.9), female OR 4.7 (95% CI 1.8 to 12), those employed or in business OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.4 to 2.6) and lastly in the year 2007 OR 1.8 (95% CI 1.1 to 3.1) and 2008 OR 1.7 (95% CI 1.0 to 2.5). Sexual violence was common among survivors who know their perpetrators OR 0.4 (95% CI 0.2 to 0.9) and among survivors who reported the incidence within 72 hours OR 10.2 (95% CI 2.4 to 42). Sodomy occurred less among the female OR 0.01 (95% CI 0.1 to 0.2). Conclusion: Rape was more common form of GBV among the survivors and most of the GBV occurred in the later months of year in the years 2007 and early 2008 which were marked by post-election violence. Familiarity with perpetrators, female gender, and the younger age were disproportionately vulnerable to GBV. Strife of any nature are key predictors of GBV. Effective protection can be established only by preventing GBV, identifying risks and responding to survivors.

Keywords: Survivors of Gender-based violence, Major GBV Recovery Center in Nairobi Kenya, trends and correlates between 2006 and 2009


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