Sexual Violence and Use of Contraception Among Women With Unwanted Pregnancy in an Ngo Clinic, Addis Ababa

Ethiop Med J. 2008 Oct;46(4):325-33.


Background: Sexual violence is one of the most prevalent but underreported incidents. One among many consequences of sexual violence is unwanted pregnancy.

Objectives: To describe events related to and factors associated with sexual violence among women with unwanted pregnancy and describe knowledge and use of contraception among these women with unwanted pregnancy.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was done at one NGO clinic in Addis Ababa. Data was collected from women with unwanted pregnancy seeking termination of pregnancy using a structured questionnaire in March 2003. Sociodemographic variables were analyzed with selected variables related to sexual violence, knowledge and practice of contraception among these women seeking termination of pregnancy.

Results: Of the 394 women seeking termination of pregnancy, there was unwelcome kiss in 26.9%, attempted rape in 23.9% and completed rape in 18.3%. Most, 63/72 (87.5%), of the victims of completed rape were below 25 years of age. A linear trend was observed with increasing age (P < 0.05, X2 = 24.365). Unmarried and economically dependent groups were more vulnerable to rape related pregnancy, P < 0.05. Only 18/72 (25%) reported to the police. Psychological problems were common in women with completed rape. Suicidal thoughts was reported by 8/72 (11%). Only 84/394 (21.3%) used contraceptives of which 29/84 (34.5%) used emergency contraceptives.

Conclusion: Unwanted pregnancy as a result of rape was observed more in younger, unmarried and economically dependent women. Use of contraception including emergency contraception, reporting to legal authorities and health professionals was low.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted / ethnology*
  • Prevalence
  • Rape / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult