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Gender based violence against women who use drugs (WWUD) in Kenya: Experiences and Policy Directions.

Otanga, H, Jeneby, F, Hundalle, M, Busz, M, Sumnall, H and Van Hout, MC Gender based violence against women who use drugs (WWUD) in Kenya: Experiences and Policy Directions. Kenya Policy Briefs. (Accepted)

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Abstract

Gender-based violence (GBV) is most pervasive among vulnerable populations including sex workers, women living in poor socioeconomic conditions and women who use drugs (WWUD). Some community-based studies show that the prevalence of GBV against WWUD might be between 2-5 times higher than that of women in the general population (Gilbert et al., 2015) with higher rates in Sub-Saharan Africa (Pack et al., 2014; Swart, 2012). WWUD also have substantially higher rates of sexual assault from non-intimate partners than the general population, with perpetrators including drug dealers, sex work clients and police (UNODC, 2019). A range of factors at individual, family, community and structural levels increase the risk of perpetration and/or victimization of GBV. These factors include: poor education (Capaldi et al., 2012), past exposure to family violence and abuse, gender inequality, poverty, social norms accepting of violence (WHO, 2013), and a history of drug use (Abramsky et al., 2011; WHO, 2012). For WWUD, having drug-using partners (Okal et al., 2011; Pack et al., 2014) and engaging in transactional sex (Mburu et al., 2019) increases the risk of victimization via the ensuing stigma and discrimination. The experience of gender-based violence among this population is also related to poverty and the normalization of GBV in African culture (Kimuna & Djamba, 2008) including women’s own positive perceptions of partner violence (Pack et al., 2014). GBV against WWUD is a threat to their mental health (WHO, 2013) and is also associated with stigma (UNHIV, 2014), HIV/AIDS and unplanned pregnancies, and adverse effects on their children (Abramsky et al., 2011). It also has social and economic costs for the individual, their family and society. This policy brief relies on data from a study of lived experiences of gender-based violence, and structures that perpetuate such violence among women who use drugs in Mombasa and Kilifi counties.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Publisher: University of Nairobi
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 10:36
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 10:45
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16151

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