Intimate partners violence against women during a COVID-19 lockdown period: results of an online survey in 7 provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo

John D Ditekemena, Christophe Luhata, Hypolite M Mavoko, Joseph Nelson Siewe Fodjo, Dalau M Nkamba, Wim Van Damme, Shahul H Ebrahim, Christiana Noestlinger, Robert Colebunders

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

Intimate Partners' Violence (IPV) is a public health problem with long-lasting mental and physical health consequences for victims and their families. As evidence has been increasing that COVID-19 lockdown measures may exacerbate IPV, our study sought to describe the magnitude of IPV in women and identify associated determinants. An online survey was conducted in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from 24 August to 8 September 2020. Of the 4160 respondents, 2002 eligible women were included in the data analysis. Their mean age was 36.3 (SD: 8.2). Most women (65.8%) were younger than 40 years old. Prevalence of any form of IPV was 11.7%. Being in the 30-39 and >50 years' age groups (OR = 0.66, CI: 0.46-0.95; p = 0.026 and OR = 0.23, CI: 0.11-048; p < 0.001, respectively), living in urban setting (OR = 0.63, CI: 0.41-0.99; p = 0.047), and belonging to the middle socioeconomic class (OR = 0.48, CI: 0.29-0.79; p = 0.003) significantly decreased the odds for experiencing IPV. Lower socioeconomic status (OR = 1.84, CI: 1.04-3.24; p = 0.035) and being pregnant (OR = 1.63, CI: 1.16-2.29; p = 0.005) or uncertain of pregnancy status (OR = 2.01, CI: 1.17-3.44; p = 0.011) significantly increased the odds for reporting IPV. Additional qualitative research is needed to identify the underlying reasons and mechanisms of IPV in order to develop and implement prevention interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5108
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number10
Number of pages10
ISSN1660-4601
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adult
  • COVID-19
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sexual Partners
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence

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