Correlates of Disclosure of Sexual Violence among Kenyan Youth Open Access

Boudreau, Courtney (2015)

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Sexual violence (SV) against children is a public health problem that can have short and long-term consequences on health and well-being. Disclosure of SV increases the likelihood that children will be able to access health services and receive psychosocial support. Previous research in high-income countries has found that child SV victims are more likely to disclose when they are female, experience fewer SV events, and experience SV perpetrated by a stranger. No studies have examined correlates of SV disclosure in Kenya. In 2010, the Kenya Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Development, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Violence Prevention, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Kenya Country Office, and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) conducted a nationally representative survey of violence against children in Kenya. Data from this study were used to assess the correlates of disclosure of reported SV prior to the age of 18 among Kenyan youth aged 13-24. Among those surveyed, 27.8% of girls and 14.5% of boys reported experiencing SV prior to 18. Among SV victims, just 44.6% of girls and 28.2% of boys reported ever having disclosed the experience. Weighted logistic regression analysis of the sample found that the odds of disclosure were significantly decreased when victims were male (OR: 0.45; 90% CI: 0.31-0.68) and when the victim reported a greater number of SV events (OR: 0.98; 90% CI: 0.96-0.99). The odds of disclosure were significantly increased when any perpetrator was a family member (OR: 2.15; 90% CI: 1.32-3.50) and when any perpetrator was a known person that was not a relative or family member (OR: 1.67; 90% CI: 1.06-2.65). While male gender and greater number of SV experiences have been shown to be associated with a decreased odds of disclosure, the findings related to perpetrator identity are inconsistent with the literature. These findings highlight the importance of context-specific research and merit further research on SV disclosure in Kenya. Policymakers and public health practitioners should account for the correlates of disclosure in designing policies and interventions to encourage disclosure and provide adequate services for child SV survivors.

Table of Contents


I. Introduction. 1

II. Systematic Literature Review Methods. 2

III. Definitions. 2

IV. Prevalence of Sexual Violence and Disclosure Rates. 3

V. Characteristics of Sexual Violence. 4

VI. Sequelae of Sexual Violence. 5

VII. Community perceptions of Sexual Violence. 6

VIII. Pros and Cons of Disclosing Sexual Violence. 9

IX. Correlates of Disclosing Sexual Violence. 13

X. Kenya Background. 20

XI. Conclusions. 22


I. Data Collection. 24

II. Measures. 25

III. Analysis. 28







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