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Front Glob Womens Health ; 3: 857345, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022698


Gender-based violence (GBV) significantly and substantially threatens women's health. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing risks and patterns of GBV. The impact of COVID-19 on GBV is not inevitable, however, and can be mediated by the policies of governments. In this study we developed the Government GBV Response Index to systematically examine how countries (N = 60) performed in response to the pandemic with respect to the government 1) enacting specific national-level GBV policy; 2) making dedicated COVID-19 specific funding available; and 3) adapting existing GBV responses to COVID-19 related restrictions and challenges. Most countries (N = 33) delivered fewer than two policy responses. We also performed rapid case study analyses to investigate what might contribute to countries having more comprehensive government policy. We find that civil society organizations played a key role in facilitating GBV policy during the pandemic, especially if they are well-funded and well-connected to the government, and if the country has a high-level government official responsible for gender issues.

Front Glob Womens Health ; 2: 630901, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533659


This article discusses the latest research that reveals that children seem to be facing new risks of sexual violence in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. The evidence suggests there have been changes in patterns of sexual offenses against children coincident with lockdowns, curfews, and school closures. In particular, emerging evidence from Kenya suggests that child victims are younger, more likely to be victimized by a neighbor in a private residence, and in the daytime, compared to pre-pandemic. We conclude that situational crime prevention strategies that focus on providing alternative safe venues to reduce offending opportunities must be a central part of a public health approach to reduce children's vulnerability during crises such as COVID-19.

BMJ Open ; 11(9): e048636, 2021 09 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398675


OBJECTIVES: This study examined patterns of sexual violence against adults and children in Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic to inform sexual violence prevention, protection, and response efforts. DESIGN: A prospective cross-sectional research design was used with data collected from March to August 2020. SETTING: Kenya. PARTICIPANTS: 317 adults, 224 children. MAIN MEASURES: Perpetrator and survivor demographic data, characteristics of the assault. RESULTS: Bivariate analyses found that children were more likely than adults to be attacked during daytime (59% vs 44%, p<0.001) by a single perpetrator rather than multiple perpetrators (31% vs 13%, p<0.001) in a private as opposed to a public location (66% vs 45%, p<0.001) and by someone known to the child (76% vs 58%, p<0.001). Children were violated most often by neighbours (29%) and family members (20%), whereas adults were equally likely to be attacked by strangers (41%) and persons known to them (59%). These variables were entered as predictors into a logistic regression model that significantly predicted the age group of the survivor, χ2(5, n=541)=53.3, p<0.001. CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of sexual violence against adult and child survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic are different, suggesting age-related measures are needed in national emergency plans to adequately address sexual violence during the pandemic and for future humanitarian crises.

COVID-19 , Sex Offenses , Adult , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Kenya/epidemiology , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2