Intimate partner violence and women’s health-seeking behaviors in northwestern botswana
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© Meharry Medical College. Despite evidence suggesting a strong association between women’s experience of violence and their health-seeking behaviors, limited research has been conducted to date that explores factors associated with these behaviors in Botswana. A prospective, cross-sectional study involving semi-structured interviews with 479 women took place in Maun, Botswana, in 2012. Twenty-five percent of those interviewed reported not having visited a medical clinic at least once despite wishing to do so. Sequential binary-logistic regressions identified three factors associated with women’s health services utilization: travel time, frequency of clinic visits, and experience of recent sexual intimate partner violence (IPV). Women who had experienced recent sexual IPV had over two and a half times the odds of having foregone medical care compared with women with no recent sexual IPV experience. Interventions that identify and encourage victims of sexual violence to seek timely screening and treatment may reduce overall disease burden in this population.
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