Coerced Sexual Intercourse Within Marriage: A Clinic-Based Study of Pregnant Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon

Authors

  • Marwan Khawaja PhD,

    Professor of Population Health, Corresponding author
      Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017-2303. E-mail: mk36@aub.edu.lb
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    • Marwan Khawaja, PhD, is Professor of Population Health, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, and Director of the Center for Research on Population and Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut.

  • Nadwa Hammoury MSc

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    • Nadwa Hammoury, MSc, is a midwife specialist at UNRWA's polyclinic in Sidon, Lebanon. She has MSc degree in Population Health from the American University of Beirut, and was a researcher at the Center for Research on Population and Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut while completing this study.


Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017-2303. E-mail: mk36@aub.edu.lb

Abstract

This study examines the correlates of forced sexual intercourse among pregnant refugee women attending an antenatal clinic in Sidon, Lebanon. A total of 349 pregnant women were interviewed during a clinic visit for a prenatal check-up during the months of June and July 2005. The Abuse Assessment Screen was used to identify cases of abuse. The outcome variable was whether the woman was forced to have sexual intercourse during the past year. One-quarter of women (26.2%) reported having forced sexual intercourse. Associations between forced sexual intercourse and sociodemographic risk factors were assessed using odds ratios from logistic regression models. Low educational levels and reported fear of husband were significant risk factors for sexual abuse, adjusting for other relevant variables. Age, parity, length of marriage, place of residence, undesired pregnancy, gestational age, consanguinity, and physical violence during last year were not associated with forced sexual intercourse.

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