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Rape against Women in Tanzania: Studies of Social Reactions and Barriers to Disclosure
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH). (International Maternal and Reproductive Health)
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis assessed responses toward rape against women as experienced by the victims and victim supporters in the context of the interaction between victims, supporters, and formal agencies in Tanzania. The overall research design was based on triangulation with a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. A semi-qualitative study, in which free listings and semi-structured questionnaires were used, explored social reactions from 44 community nurses and 50 rape victims (Paper I). A tool developed from this first study was utilized for collecting data on people’s attitudes and their behavior toward rape and rape victims from a representative community sample of 1505 men and women aged 18-65 years (Paper II). Both studies helped to access suitable rape victims and supporters who participated in the third study to share experiences on the process of rape disclosure to formal and informal social networks (Papers III and IV). The results highlighted the salient social reactions and how rape victims perceived the impact of these reactions. Half of the participants interpreted rape situations based on social relationships, circumstances, and social status of the woman, rather than the legal definition. Two-thirds of the adults explained they would express negative social reactions toward a victim in some rape scenarios, and this correlated with their attitudes towards rape and rape victims. A variety of barriers in the informal and formal networks with potentially negative impacts on rape reporting, service utilization and, health outcomes were identified. In conclusion, successful interventions aimed at improving people’s response to rape, rape disclosure and, health outcomes in Tanzania should assume a holistic approach to address the negative factors identified at the individual, family and, community levels without forgetting the normative context that appears to underlie most decisions and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2010. , p. 55
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 554
Keywords [en]
Rape, women, victim, supporter, social reaction, social network, community, Tanzania
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122250ISBN: 978-91-554-7788-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-122250DiVA, id: diva2:309666
Public defence
2010-05-25, Rosensalen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-29 Created: 2010-04-07 Last updated: 2010-05-18
List of papers
1. Social reactions to rape: experiences and perceptions of women rape survivors and their potential support providers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social reactions to rape: experiences and perceptions of women rape survivors and their potential support providers in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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2009 (English)In: Violence and Victims, ISSN 0886-6708, E-ISSN 1945-7073, Vol. 24, no 5, p. 607-626Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Social reactions to rape are socioculturally determined and have a strong influence on the coping and recovery of the survivor. The existing knowledge on social reactions emanates from Western countries with limited research attention on non-Western populations, particularly sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to establish the types and perceptions of social reactions that are expressed to rape survivors and people's intentions to express them to survivors of varied social backgrounds in Tanzania. Using triangulation of research methods, experiences of social reactions among rape survivors (n = 50) and nurses (n = 44) from a community in Tanzania were explored, and the intentions to express typical social reactions to rape survivors of different social backgrounds were established from a representative community sample (n = 1,505). Twelve typical social reactions were identified with the positive reactions more commonly mentioned than the negative reactions. Nondisclosure of rape events and distracting the survivor from the event were perceived as both positive and negative. A commercial sex worker was most vulnerable to negative reactions. The cultural influences of social reactions and implications for practical applicability of the results are discussed.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120713 (URN)10.1891/0886-6708.24.5.607 (DOI)000207989100004 ()19852402 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2010-03-16 Created: 2010-03-16 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
2. Effect of Supporter Characteristics on Expression of Negative Social Reactions Toward Rape Survivors in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effect of Supporter Characteristics on Expression of Negative Social Reactions Toward Rape Survivors in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
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2010 (English)In: Health Care for Women International, ISSN 0739-9332, E-ISSN 1096-4665, Vol. 31, no 8, p. 668-685Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a community representative sample of 1,505 adults we examined interpretations of rape situations in order to establish attitudes toward rape. We assessed their intentions to express negative social reactions (NSRs) toward rape survivors. We then determined effects of attitudinal and sociodemographic characteristics in logistic regression models assessing the odds of expressing NSRs. Being old, male, and Muslim, and failing to interpret the legal circumstances of rape increased their risks of expressing NSRs. The degree of interpretation of lack of consent as rape affected their intentions to express NSRs, but not how they responded to survivors of different social status.

 

National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122111 (URN)10.1080/07399331003629378 (DOI)000279711600002 ()20623392 (PubMedID)
Note
The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the participants, and those who assisted in one way or another at the women help centers in Dar es Salaam and in rural Temeke. We acknowledge funding by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Department for Research Cooperation (Sida/SAREC), and the Umeå Centre for Global Health Re-search, with support from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research [grant no. 2006-1512].Available from: 2010-04-07 Created: 2010-04-06 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved
3. Managing in the Contemporary World: Rape Victims’ and Supporters’ Experiences of Barriers Within the Police and the Healthcare System in Tanzania
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing in the Contemporary World: Rape Victims’ and Supporters’ Experiences of Barriers Within the Police and the Healthcare System in Tanzania
2011 (English)In: Journal of Interpersonal Violence, ISSN 0886-2605, E-ISSN 1552-6518, Vol. 26, no 16, p. 3187-3209Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Grounded theory guided the analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with raped women and community members who had supported raped women in their contact with the police and health care services in Tanzania. The aim of this study was to understand and conceptualize the experiences of the informants by creating a theoretical model focusing on barriers, strategies, and responses during the help seeking process. The results illustrate a process of managing in the contemporary world characterized as walking a path of anger and humiliation. The barriers are illustrated by painful experiences of realizing it's all about money, meeting unprofessionalism and irresponsibility, subjected to unreliable services, and by being caught in a messed-up system. Negotiating truths and knowing what to do capture the informants' coping strategies. The study indicates an urgent need for improvement in the formal procedures of handling rape cases, improved collaboration between the police and the health care system, as well as specific training for professionals to improve their communication and caring skills.

Keywords
adult victims, disclosure, support seeking, prevention, Female, rape victim, Supporter, healthcare, police
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122231 (URN)10.1177/0886260510393006 (DOI)000295727200001 ()
Note
The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the participants, and those who assisted in one way or another at the women help centres in Dar es Salaam and in rural Temeke. Available from: 2010-04-07 Created: 2010-04-07 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
4. Reporting Rape: Experiences of Rape Victims and Supporters of Barriers Created in the Informal Networks in Dar es Salaam
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reporting Rape: Experiences of Rape Victims and Supporters of Barriers Created in the Informal Networks in Dar es Salaam
2011 (English)In: Violence against Women, ISSN 1077-8012, E-ISSN 1552-8448Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

To understand the barriers rape victims and their supporters face from their informal networks while disclosing rape events in Tanzania, 30 in-depth interviews with victims and supporters were conducted. We found, that decisions to disclose rape events were influenced at the individual, family, and community levels. The overall theme, ‘normative justification of rape’ indicated wider societal beliefs and attitudes through all levels. The categories ‘internalizing shame and fearing the consequences’, ‘defending family integrity’, ‘reconciling role of the elders’, and ‘marginalizing victims and supporters’ captured the impact the identified normative justification of rape had on specific levels. The possible consequences and implications for interventions are discussed.

Keywords
Rape, Disclosure, Barrier, Victim, Supporter, informal network, Tanzania
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-122237 (URN)
Note
The authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of the participants, and those who assisted in one way or the other, at the women help centers in Dar es Salaam and in rural Temeke. This work was funded by the Swedish Inter-national Development Cooperation Agency, Department for Research Coop-eration (Sida/SAREC); and the Umeå Centre for Global Health Research, with support from the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Re-search [grant no. 2006-1512].Available from: 2010-04-07 Created: 2010-04-07 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved

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