Women & health 2017 07 06() doi 10.1080/03630242.2017.1342742
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most prevalent form of violence against women, yet remains under-researched among sex workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We explored interpersonal and structural determinants of recent IPV among female sex workers in northern Uganda.
This analysis drew on data from a community-based cross-sectional study (conducted May 2011-January 2012), involving 379 female sex workers in Gulu, northern Uganda. Using logistic regression and multivariable modeling, we examined correlates of recent male-perpetrated physical or sexual IPV.
Of 379 women with non-commercial partners, 59% reported having experienced recent moderate/severe physical or sexual IPV. Reporting recent client violence (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 3.67; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.31-5.83), doing what their partner wanted (AOR: 2.46; 95% CI: 1.46-4.13), and forced sexual debut (AOR: 1.92; 95% CI: 1.20-3.05) were independently associated with moderate/severe IPV; recent police arrest and/or incarceration was marginally significantly associated with IPV (AOR: 2.25; 95% CI: 0.86-5.88, p = 0.097).
Greater odds of IPV among sex workers was associated with recent workplace violence, forced sexual debut, and gendered power dynamics favoring male partner control. Programs and policies promoting the safety and health of marginalized women and addressing gender dynamics and violence are needed.