Statement of purpose Physical violence against children in Haiti is prevalent; however risk and protective factors associated with violence have not been described. Our aim was to identify factors associated with childhood physical violence (CPV) in Haiti.
Methods A population-based national household survey was administered to 13–24 year old Haitians in 2012 to quantify and characterise CPV. A three-stage clustered sample design was utilised, including both standard enumeration areas and internally displaced persons resulting from the 2010 earthquake. A multivariable general linear model with Poisson regression estimated adjusted prevalence ratios (aPR) and risk ratios (aRR).
Results Sixty-four percent of survey respondents experienced physical violence prior to 18 years of age. Factors associated with victimisation included lack of primary school completion (aPR 1.1, 95% CI 1.0–1.2), work as a domestic servant (aPR 1.1, 95% CI 1.1–1.2), three or more moves in the past year (aPR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0–1.4), lifetime emotional violence (aPR 1.4, 95% CI 1.3–1.6) and lifetime sexual violence (aPR 1.3 95% CI 1.2–1.4). Respondents who reported emotional and/or sexual victimisation prior to age 12 were twice as likely to be victims of physical violence later in life (emotional aRR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4–3.0; sexual aRR 2.0, 95% CI 1.2–3.2). Respondents who reported feeling close or very close to their mother reported less CPV compared to respondents who were not close or reported no relationship (aPR 0.85, 95% CI 0.75–0.96).
Conclusion Other victimisation was the most salient risk factor associated with CPV in Haiti.
Significance and contributions This study is the first to describe factors associated with physical violence against children in Haiti on a national level, and can begin to inform targeted approaches to prevention for those at highest risk for victimisation.
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