Original Research

Reported intimate partner violence amongst women attending a public hospital in Botswana

Lindiwe I. Zungu, Akeem O. Salawu, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 2, No 1 | a185 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v2i1.185 | © 2010 Lindiwe I. Zungu, Akeem O. Salawu, Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 April 2010 | Published: 04 November 2010

About the author(s)

Lindiwe I. Zungu, Department of Health Studies, College of Human Sciences, University of South Africa, South Africa
Akeem O. Salawu, DRM Hospital, Mochudi, Botswana
Gboyega A. Ogunbanjo, Department of Family Medicine & Primary Health Care, University of Limpopo, Medunsa campus, South Africa


Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is common worldwide and occurs across social, economic, religious and cultural groups. This makes it an important public health issue for health care providers. In South Africa, the problem of violence against women is complex and it has social and public health consequences. The paucity of data on IPV is related to underreporting and a lack of screening of this form of violence in health care settings.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of IPV and explore the risk factors associated with this type of violence against women who visited a public hospital in Botswana.

Method: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was conducted among randomly sampled adult women aged 21 years and older, during their hospital visits in 2007. Data were obtained by means of structured interviews, after obtaining written and signed, informed consent from each participant.

Results: A total of 320 women participated in this study. Almost half (49.7%) reported having had an experience of IPV in one form or another at some point in their lifetime, while 68 (21.2%) reported a recent incident of abuse by their partners in the past year. Experiences of IPV were predominantly reported by women aged 21 – 30 years (122; 38%). Most of the allegedly abused participants were single (173; 54%) and unemployed (140; 44%). Significant associations were found between alcohol use by participants’ male intimate partners (χ2 = 17.318; p = 0.001) and IPV, as well as cigarette smoking (χ2 = 17.318; p = 0.001) and IPV.

Conclusion: The prevalence of alleged IPV in Botswana is relatively high (49.7%), especially among young adult women, but the prevalence of reported IPV is low (13.2%). It is essential that women are screened regularly in the country’s public and private health care settings for IPV.


Botswana; intimate partner violence; prevalence; public hospital; women


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