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Salud Pública de México

versión impresa ISSN 0036-3634


OLAIZ, Gustavo et al. Gender violence prevalence in female users of health services in Mexico. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2006, vol.48, suppl.2, pp.s232-s238. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence of violence against females among those who are health service beneficiaries in Mexico. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The National Survey on Violence against Women (ENVIM, per its Spanish abbreviation) was applied in 2003 to female users of public primary and secondary health care services. The sampling framework was based on a stratified, probabilistic sample in two stages. First the health care units were selected with probability proportional to the number of physicians' offices in the unit, from a list of possible care units. Second, women 15 years and older who sought care at the health care unit were selected for participation in the study through systematic sampling. Univariate analysis and then bivariate analysis were carried out on the data collected with a questionnaire. RESULTS: The sample included 26 042 women between 15 and 92 years of age, with a mean age of 35.8 years. Physical violence during childhood was reported by 42% of the women. Only 7.8% answered yes to a general question about whether they experienced domestic partner violence, but 21.5% reported experiencing violence of any type during the last 12 months as measured by a scale including specific acts of psychological, economic, physical and sexual violence. The most frequently reported type of violence was psychological (19.6%). Of the women who had been pregnant, 14.1% reported having experienced violence during pregnancy, and 4.4% reported being hit in the abdomen. The prevalence of sexual violence was 17.3% and close to half reported being victims of this type of violence before age 15. Higher prevalence of violence was found among women with lower levels of formal education, living in a rented home, in areas with higher overcrowding indices, and users of Ministry of Health care services. CONCLUSIONS: Identifying and measuring violence is complex, given the diverse types of violence and how they are perceived and therefore reported by women themselves. This is an important public health problem, in view of the high frequency observed in this study and the immediate implications. These findings indicate the urgent need for interventions to prevent and treat violence.

Palabras llave : violence against women; gender violence; health users; Mexico.

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