Sexual violence as a risk factor for family planning-related outcomes among young Burundian women

Int J Public Health. 2018 Jan;63(1):13-22. doi: 10.1007/s00038-017-0988-z. Epub 2017 Jun 13.


Objectives: The study aimed to examine associations between experience of sexual violence and family planning-related outcomes.

Methods: A multi-stage cluster survey was conducted among a representative sample of 744 young women aged 15-24 in eight provinces in Burundi.

Results: The prevalence of young women who reported having ever been physically forced to have sexual intercourse was 26.1%. Young women who had experienced sexual violence (ever) were 2.5 times more likely not to have used any modern contraceptives in the 12 months preceding the survey. They were also 2.3 times more likely to report that their last pregnancy was unplanned. Higher odds of not being able to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners were only reported by young women having experienced sexual violence in the 12 months prior to the survey when adjusted for confounders.

Conclusions: Sexual violence was found to be significantly associated with contraceptive negotiation and use as well as unplanned pregnancy. Weak perceived ability to negotiate contraceptive use highlights gender inequalities leaving young women vulnerable to unprotected sex and thus unplanned pregnancies.

Keywords: Burundi; Family planning-related outcomes; Sexual violence; Young women.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Burundi
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Contraception Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Negotiating / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult