Rape and its Association with Substance Use in Female Students of Hawassa University, Ethiopia
Background: Rape occurs throughout the world and it is a common and serious public health problem affecting millions of women each year. The most common place where rape occurs is school setting and different factors appear to increase women’s vulnerability to rape. The objective of the present study, therefore, was to assess the prevalence of rape and its association with substance use in female university students.
Methods: An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted using self-administered anonymous questionnaire in female students of Hawassa University, South Ethiopia. A total of 579 female students were included in the study. The prevalence of rape was determined by counting frequency distributions and logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios with 95% confidence interval (95%CI) using SPSS statistical package for windows.
Results: The prevalence of attempted rape was 25.5% and 16.9% since joining the university and in the current academic year, respectively. Similarly, the magnitude of completed rape was 20.7% and 16.5% after joining the university and in the current academic year, respectively. Khat chewing (AOR=3.51, 95%CI: 1.76- 6.97), cigarette smoking (AOR=1.68, 95%CI: 1.23-2.67), alcohol drinking (AOR=2.47: 95%CI: 1.36-4.64), having had drinking friends (AOR=2.15, 95%CI: 1.21-3.82) and using other substances including cocaine (AOR=3.77, 95%CI: 1.41-9.87) were associated with rape in the current academic year.
Conclusion: The prevalence of rape among female university students was high. There was significant association between rape and substance use by female university students. Interventions that target prevention of rape, reduction of sources of substance supply and behavioral changes towards substance use and its consequences may benefit female students.