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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 2, No. 14, 2014, pp. 299-313
Bioline Code: hs14047
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 2, No. 14, 2014, pp. 299-313

 en Prevalence and correlates of violence against female sex workers in Abuja, Nigeria
Fawole, Olufunmilayo I & Dagunduro, Abosede T


Background:. Few studies in Africa provide detailed descriptions of the vulnerabilities of female sex workers (FSWs) to violence.
Objective: To document the prevalence and types of violence experienced by FSWs, identify the risk factors of experiencing violence to women (VAW) and the perpetrators of these acts.
Methods: An analytical cross sectional survey of 305 brothel-based FSWs and in-depth interview of 20 chairpersons residing in brothels in Abuja, Nigeria was done.
Results: The prevalence of VAW six months preceding the survey was 52.5%. Sexual violence was the commonest type (41.9%) of violence experienced, followed by economic (37.7%), physical violence (35.7%) and psychological (31.9%). The main perpetrators of sexual violence were clients (63.8%) and brothel management (18.7%). Sexual violence was significantly more experienced (aOR 2.23; 95%CI 1.15-4.36) by older FSWs than their younger counterparts, by permanent brothel residents (aOR 2.08; 95%CI 1.22-3.55) and among those who had been in the sex industry for more than five years (aOR 2.01; 95%CI 0.98-4.10). Respondents with good knowledge levels of types of violence were less vulnerable to physical violence (aOR 0.45; 95%CI 0.26-0.77). Psychological violence was more likely among FSWs who smoked (aOR 2.16; 95%CI 1.26-3.81). Risk of economic violence decreased with educational levels (aOR 0.54; 95%CI 0.30-0.99 and aOR 0.42; 95%CI 0.22-0.83 for secondary and post secondary respectively). Consequences of the violence included sexually transmitted infections (20%) and HIV (8.0%).
Conclusion: Interventions that educate FSWs on their rights and enable them avoid violence are urgently required. Young women need economic and educational empowerments to enable them avoid sex work.

female sex workers; violence against women; brothel based sex workers; prostitution in Africa

© African Health Sciences

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