Background Over half of displaced civilians in humanitarian emergencies are children, and these settings pose unique threats to children's safety with long-lasting consequences. Our study broadens the limited evidence on violence against adolescent girls in emergencies by estimating prevalence and predictors of violence among adolescent girls aged 13-14 in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and aged 13-19 in refugee camps in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia. Methods Survey data were collected from a sample of 1296 adolescent girls using Computer-Assisted Personal Interview and Audio Computer- Assisted Self-Interview programming. Predictors of violence were modeled using multivariable logistic regression. Results The majority of adolescent girls (51.62%) reported experiencing at least one form of violence victimization in the previous 12 months: 31.78% reported being hit or beaten, 36.79% reported being screamed at loudly or aggressively, and 26.67% experienced unwanted sexual touching, forced sex, and/or sexual coercion. Across both countries, ever having a boyfriend and living with an intimate partner were strong predictors of violence. Fewer years of education completed in DRC, and young age in Ethiopia, were also associated with reported victimization. Conclusions Prevalence of violence against adolescent girls is high in these two conflict-affected contexts. Findings indicate a need for programs targeting younger populations, broader efforts to address different forms of victimization, and increased recognition of intimate partners and caregivers as perpetrators of violence in conflict-affected settings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health