One-year prevalence of domestic violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic in an urban community in Southern Nigeria
Background:Violence against women is a major public health challenge particularly in the developing countries. During the COVID-19 pandemic, varied rising incidence of domestic violence against women were reported. This study determined the one-year prevalence of domestic violence against women during the COVID-19 pandemic in an urban community in Southern Nigeria.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multistage sampling technique was utilized in recruiting 616 female respondents from an urban community in Benin City, Nigeria. Structured intervieweradministered questionnaire was the tool for data collection. The questionnaire was adapted from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic Health Survey and the 2006 World Health Organization multi-country survey tool. Data analysis was done using IBM-SPSS version 25.
Results: More than a third of the women 221 (35.9%) had been victims of domestic violence in the last one year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The types of domestic violence experienced by the women included: psychological 120 (54.3%), physical 68 (30.8%), sexual 38 (17.2%) and economic 36 (16.3%). Husbands 52 (76.5%) and boyfriends 39 (57.4%) of the victims were the most frequent perpetrators of physical violence.
Conclusion: The study revealed a high one-year prevalence of violence against women in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Psychological and physical violence were most prevalent and were perpetrated mainly by intimate partners of the women. The social media can be utilized routinely to educate the masses about violence against women. Also, men should be engaged in the prevention of domestic violence programmes through education workshops.
Keywords: Prevalence; Perpetrators; Violence against women; Domestic violence; COVID-19 pandemic; Southern Nigeria