We sought to identify correlates of forced sex perpetration among men and victimization among women in Botswana and Swaziland.
We surveyed a 2-stage probability sample of 2074 adults from the 5 districts of Botswana with the highest HIV prevalence rates and all 4 regions of Swaziland. Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify correlates of forced sex victimization and perpetration.
Lifetime prevalence rates of forced sex victimization of women were 10.3% in Botswana and 11.4% in Swaziland; among men, rates of perpetration were 3.9% in Botswana and 5.0% in Swaziland. Lifetime history of forced sex victimization was the strongest predictor of forced sex perpetration by men in both Botswana (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 13.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.55, 41.5) and Swaziland (adjusted OR = 5.98; 95% CI = 1.08, 33.1). Problem or heavy drinking was the strongest predictor of forced sex victimization of women in Botswana (adjusted OR = 2.55; 95% CI = 1.19, 5.49) and Swaziland (OR = 14.7; 95% CI = 4.53, 47.6).
Sexual violence in Botswana and Swaziland is a major public health and human rights problem. Ending codified gender discrimination can contribute to fundamentally changing gender norms and may be an important lever for gender-based violence prevention in these countries.