Gynecology & Reproductive Health

Abstract

Burden, pattern and effects of Rape among women accessing Maternal and Child Health Services in Jos, Nigeria

Stephen A Anzaku, Stephen Yohanna, George I Ogbu, Bernard T Utoo.

Background: Rape is associated with significant physical, emotional and psychological trauma on the victims and interventions to curb this violent crime among women is a major public health concern. This study aimed at ascertaining the burden, pattern and impacts of rape among women accessing Maternal and Child Health services in Bingham University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey assessing for victims of rape among 251 women recruited by simple random sampling using a pre-tested questionnaire. Inquiries included socio-demographic and obstetric features, history, route, type and place of rape. Other variables sought for included relationship and acquaintance with the perpetrator, number of perpetrators, report of rape as well as any complications following the rape incidence. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA).

Results: A total of 39 women reported history of rape, giving a prevalence of 15.5%. Mean age at rape was 19.3 ± 5.9 years with a range of 8–28 years. The commonest routes of rape were through the vagina and anus. Date and acquaintance rape were the commonest, perpetrated by boyfriends in a bedroom. Most of the cases were unreported mostly because of fear of stigmatization and being accused of complicity. Complications faced by the victims were vaginal laceration and bleeding, unwanted pregnancy, anal pain and bleeding, pelvic infections, depression, and lack of trust in men.

Conclusion: Rape is common and often unreported among women in our setting and is associated with immediate and long term complications. Public awareness about rape and its complications as well as the need for reporting of the crime by victims should be implemented so as to eradicate this sexual violence among our women.

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