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Journal Article


Abeid M, Muganyizi P, Mpembeni R, Darj E, Axemo P. Glob. Health Action 2015; 8: e28608.


Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH), Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2015, Centre for Global Health Research (CGH) at UmeĆ„ University, Sweden, Publisher Co-Action Publishing)






BACKGROUND: Despite global recognition that sexual violence is a violation of human rights, evidence still shows it is a pervasive problem across all societies. Promising community intervention studies in the low- and middle-income countries are limited.

OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the impact of a community-based intervention, focusing on improving the community's knowledge and reducing social acceptability of violence against women norms with the goal to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

DESIGN: The strategies used to create awareness included radio programs, information, education communication materials, and advocacy meetings with local leaders. The intervention took place in Morogoro region in Tanzania. The evaluation used a quasi-experimental design including cross-sectional surveys at baseline (2012) and endline (2014) with men and women aged 18-49 years. Main outcome measures were number of reported rape cases at health facilities and the community's knowledge and attitudes toward sexual violence.

RESULTS: The number of reported rape events increased by more than 50% at health facilities during the intervention. Knowledge on sexual violence increased significantly in both areas over the study period (from 57.3 to 80.6% in the intervention area and from 55.5 to 71.9% in the comparison area; p<0.001), and the net effect of the intervention between the two areas was statistically significant (6.9, 95% CI 0.2-13.5, p=0.03). There was significant improvement in most of the attitude indicators in the intervention area, but not in the comparison area. However, the intervention had no significant effect on the overall scores of acceptance attitudes in the final assessment when comparing the two areas (-2.4, 95% CI: -8.4 to 3.6, p=0.42).

CONCLUSIONS: The intervention had an effect on some indicators on knowledge and attitudes toward sexual violence even after a short period of intervention. This finding informs the public health practitioners of the importance of combined strategies in achieving changes.

Language: en


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