Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Non-consensual sex in Benin

EP Gharoro, EJ Enabudoso, DKJ Sodje


Objective: The objective of the study is to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of non-consensual sex/rape in Benin.
Materials and Methods: We surveyed 580 females in the University Community of Benin, 414 questionnaires were sufficiently completed for analysis.
Results: Seventy-six (18.4%) respondents reported that they had been victims of non-consensual sex (NCS), 36 in their current relationship. The unmarried single respondents had the lowest mean age at NCS experience of 18 years, while the divorced victims had the highest mean age of 32.5 (P = 0.000). There was a major exposure peak age at 19 years with a smaller peak at 25. The majority of sex offenders were their present partners and next the husbands (22.2%). The father was the perpetrator on one (2.78%) occasion, while armed robbers raped two of the victims. Eighteen of the seventy-six respondents made a formal report. Cumulatively, 95.4% of the respondents felt it was futile reporting, four (5.3%) felt it was not all a bad experience. The risk of being infected with the HIV/AIDS virus was the worst fear. Ninety-five of four hundred and fourteen respondents want the public and parents to be educated, 64 would like the penal code to be tougher and better implemented, while 64 (14.0%) crave for a dress code for the University community.
Conclusions: The self-reported incidence of NCS is high, majority were not formally reported as most of the sex offenders were the (ex)partners of the victims. There was a major exposure peak age at 19 with a smaller peak at 25 years. There was a condoned sense of futility and frustration in reporting.
AJOL African Journals Online