Social support, sexual violence, and transactional sex among female transnational migrants to South Africa

Margaret Giorgio, Loraine Townsend, Yanga Zembe, Sally Guttmacher, Farzana Kapadia, Mireille Cheyip, Catherine Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. To examine the relationship between sexual violence and transactional sex and assess the impact of social support on this relationship among female transnational migrants in Cape Town, South Africa. Methods. In 2012 we administered a behavioral risk factor survey using respondentdriven sampling to transnational migrant women aged between 16 and 39 years, born outside South Africa, living in Cape Town, and speaking English, Shona, Swahili, Lingala, Kirundi, Kinyarwanda, French, or Somali. Results. Controlling for study covariates, travel-phase sexual violence was positively associated with engagement in transactional sex (adjusted prevalence ratio [APR] = 1.38; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07, 1.77), and social support was shown to be a protective factor (APR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.75, 0.95). The interaction of experienced sexual violence during migration and social support score was APR = 0.85 (95% CI = 0.66, 1.10). In the stratified analysis, we found an increased risk of transactional sex among the low social support group (APR = 1.56; 95% CI = 1.22, 2.00). This relationship was not statistically significant among the moderateor high social support group (APR = 1.04; 95% CI = 0.58, 1.87). Conclusions. Programs designed to strengthen social support may reduce transactional sex among migrant women after they have settled in their receiving communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1129
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume106
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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