1 in 7 women, 1 in 12 men experience sexual violence before the age of 18 – survey

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1 in 7 women, 1 in 12 men experience sexual violence before the age of 18 – survey
1 in 7 women, 1 in 12 men experience sexual violence before the age of 18 – survey

Africa-Press – Mozambique. An investigation led by the National Institute of Health (INS) and the National Institute of Statistics (INE) reveals that the main perpetrators of sexual violence are former and current partners.

The survey on sexual violence in Mozambique reveals that women are the main victims of rape in the country, with one in seven women experiencing sexual violence before the age of 18. One in 12 men have a similar experience.

The study describes four forms of sexual violence: unwanted sexual touching; attempted forced sex; coerced sex: and physically forced sex.

Some participants in the study revealed that they had experienced more than one incident of the same form of sexual violence or more than one form of sexual violence.

According to the document, 878 men and 2,129 women responded to the survey. Of the total, among women who suffered sexual violence in childhood, 39.1% had their first incident between the ages of 14 and 15, and 40.7% between 16 and 17 years. Among the men, 75.5% suffered the first incident between the ages of 16 and 17.

Among women, the most common instigators of the first incident of sexual violence were current or former intimate partners, accounting for 60.3% of cases. Other types of aggressors made up 24.3%, and a friend, classmate or schoolmate, 20.1%.

Among women who experienced childhood sexual violence, one in four indicated that more than one perpetrator was present during the first incident.

The research also reveals that fear of reporting cases of violence prevails in Mozambique. Among women and men who suffered sexual violence in childhood, only 32.2% of the women and 28.7% of the men told someone about their experience.

The report reveals that the aggressors tend to be individuals with relationships to the victim spanning five years or more, and that the aggressions happen mostly at night.

In the study, 1,101 participants consented to be tested for HIV, 35 testing positive. Fifty-seven participants reported having previously had a positive HIV diagnosis.

The researchers further found that women between the ages of 18 and 24 who experienced sexual violence in childhood were prone as a result to intentionally injuring themselves, and also reported having contemplated suicide.

The survey was carried out in 2019 and released last week. The researchers believe that the study, the first study of its kind to be carried out in a Portuguese-speaking country, can help the government better devise policies to deal with the phenomenon.

By

Raúl Massingue

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