Rwanda

Violence Against Children and Youth Survey in Rwanda: Findings from a National Survey, 2015-2016

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KEY FINDINGS

VACYS data analysis was done based on three age categories: 13-17, 18-24 and 19-24 years old. Results reported on the 13-17 and 19-24 age groups refer to the past 12 months only; for those aged 18-24, the childhood life experience (prior to age 18) was analyzed.

RESPONDENTS’ CHARACTERISTICS

• Overall, 1,032 females and 1,182 males aged 13-24 participated in the study. The total overall response rates were 98% for males and 97% for females.

• Over 97% of children and youths (both male and female) aged 13-24 had ever attended school.

• 34% of the females and 32% of the males aged 13-24 reported that they had lost one of their parents before they were 18 years old. 8% of the females and 7% of the males aged 13-24 reported that they had lost both parents before they were 18 years old.

• Among youths aged 18-24, females were more than twice as likely as males to have been married or to be living together as if married (41% versus 18%, respectively).

• Among the youths aged 18-24 who reported sexual activity prior to being 18, males were significantly more likely than females to have had sex prior to age 18 (43% versus 29%, respectively).

• Females reported an older average age of first sex than males in both age groups (for those aged 13-17 the ages of first sex were 13.3 years and 10.3 years; and for those aged 18-24 the ages of first sex were 18.6 years and 17.4 years, respectively).

SEXUAL VIOLENCE

• 24% of females and 10% of males aged 18-24 had experienced sexual violence prior to age 18.

• 12% of females and 5% of males aged 13-17 had experienced sexual violence in the 12 months prior the survey.

• 4% of females aged 18-24 had experienced physically forced sexual violence prior to age 18.

• Of 18-24 year olds reporting sexual violence, 76% of females and 69% of males had experienced two or more incidents of abuse prior to age 18.

• Among those who reported sexual violence, 34% of both females and males aged 13-17 had first experienced sexual violence at the age of 13 or earlier.

• Among females and males aged 18-24 who had experienced sexual violence prior to age 18, neighbours were the most common perpetrators of the first such incident.

• 35% of females and 46% of males aged 18-24 who had experienced sexual violence in childhood knew of a place to seek services.

• Of females aged 13-17 who ever had sexual intercourse, 46% indicated that their first incident of sexual intercourse was unwanted.

PHYSICAL VIOLENCE

• 37% of females and 60% of males aged 18-24 had experienced physical violence prior to age 18.

• Among females aged 18-24 who had experienced physical violence, half had their first incident between the age of 12 and 17.

• Of males aged 18-24 who experienced physical violence, 52% had their first incident when aged 6-11 and 36% when aged 12-17.

• 13% of females and 23% of males aged 18-24 who experienced physical violence missed one or more days of school as a result of their experiences of violence.

• 27% of females and 42% of males aged 13-17 had experienced physical violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

• 87% of females and 95% of males aged 13-17 who had experienced physical violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey had experienced more than one such incident.

• The most common category of perpetrators of physical violence for both females and males aged 18-24 was reported to be parents, adult relatives and caregivers.

EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE

• 12% of females and 17% of males aged 18-24 reported experiencing emotional violence by a parent or caregiver prior to age 18. Among them, 97% of females and 97% of males experienced multiple incidents.

• The majority of both females and males aged 18-24 who had experienced emotional violence prior to age 18 had experienced the first incident between 12 and 17 years old (54.5% females and 60.7% males).

• 8% of females and 13% of males aged 13-17 reported experiencing emotional violence by a parent or caregiver in the past 12 months prior to survey. Among them, all females and 96% of males had experienced multiple incidents.

• 43% of females and 36% of males aged 13-17 who had experienced emotional violence in the past 12 months had experienced the first incident between age 6 and 11.

• Among 13-17 year olds, 49% females and 62% of males experienced the first incident between 12 and 17 years old.

OVERLAP OF TYPES OF VIOLENCE: SEXUAL, PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE

• Among youth aged 18-24, 18% of males and 18% of females had experienced two or all three forms of violence prior to age 18.

• Among children aged 13-17, 11% of males and 9% of females had experienced two or all three forms of violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

HEALTH OUTCOMES OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL VIOLENCE

• Females aged 18-24 who had experienced physical or emotional violence in childhood were significantly more likely to have thought of suicide than those who did not experience such violence.

• Females and males aged 18-24 with a history of sexual and emotional violence in childhood were significantly more likely to have experienced mental distress in the past 30 days prior to the survey. Males aged 18-24 who have experienced emotional violence in childhood are more likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days prior to the survey than those who did not experience such type of violence.

• Females aged 13-17 who experienced emotional violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey were significantly more likely to experience mental distress in the past 30 days prior to the survey than those who did not experience emotional violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

• Males aged 13-17 who experienced sexual violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey were significantly more likely to have been drunk in the past 30 days prior to the survey than those who did not experience such violence.

• Females aged 19-24 who experienced sexual, physical, or emotional violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey were significantly more likely to have experienced mental distress in the past 30 days prior to the survey. Those who experienced sexual, physical, or emotional violence in the past 12 months prior to the survey were significantly more likely to have suicide thoughts than those who did not experience such violence.

• Among females with experiences of unwanted completed sex in childhood, 48% of those aged 18-24 reported pregnancy as a result.

SEXUAL RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOURS AND EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD

• 20% of sexually active males and 16% of sexually active females aged 19-24 reported infrequent condom use in the past 12 months.

• Among sexually active males aged 19-24, 17% reported having at least two sex partners in the past 12 months.

• 54% of females aged 19-24 with experience of sexual abuse and who had had sexual intercourse in the past 12 months had never used condoms.

SEXUAL RISK-TAKING BEHAVIOURS AND EXPOSURE TO VIOLENCE IN CHILDHOOD

• 20% of sexually active males and 16% of sexually active females aged 19-24 reported infrequent condom use in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

• 17% of sexually active males aged 19-24, reported having at least two sex partners in the past 12 months prior to the survey.

HIV/AIDS-TESTING BEHAVIOURS, TESTING KNOWLEDGE AND ASSOCIATION WITH SEXUAL ABUSE IN CHILDHOOD

• All females and 98% of males aged 18-24 knew where to go for an HIV test.

• 97% of females and 89% of males aged 18-24 who had experienced sexual intercourse prior to the age of 18, reported having been tested for HIV.

BELIEFS REGARDING GENDER AND VIOLENCE

• Not taking care of the children was the most commonly accepted reason for a husband to beat his wife, among both sexes and across all age ranges.

• In the 13-17 age group, 33% of females and 20% of males believed that women who do not take care of the children justify a man to beat his wife.

• In the 18-24 age group, 25% of females and 15% of males believed that women who do not take care of the children justify a man to hit or beat his wife.

• The most common belief related to gender, sexual practices, and intimate partner violence among females and males aged 13-17 (71% and 69%, respectively) was that women who carry condoms have sex with a lot of men.

• 69% of youth females aged 18-24 believed that men need to have sex with other women even if they have a good relationship with their wives; and 62% of males and females believed that women who carry condoms have sex with a lot of men.

• 7% of both male and female children aged 13-17 reported having committed violence against other persons.

• Among youth aged 18-24, males reported committing physical violence against other persons significantly more than females did (13% and 3%, respectively).