Background: Research on violence targeting urban forcibly displaced adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) is limited, particularly regarding polyvictimization (exposure to multiple forms of violence). Yet there is a global trend of refugee urbanization, and urban AGYW are at the nexus of violence disparities among adolescents, forcibly displaced persons, and slum dwellers. This study explored factors associated with young adulthood violence (> 16 years) (YAV) and intimate partner violence (IPV) among forcibly displaced AGYW in Kampala, Uganda. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey with forcibly displaced AGYW aged 16-24 from five informal settlement (slum) communities across Kampala (Kabalagala, Rubaga, Kansanga, Katwe, Nsambya) using peer network sampling. We assessed YAV (experienced at age 16 or above) (sexual, physical, emotional violence) and recent (past 12-month) IPV (physical, sexual, control violence). We conducted descriptive statistics, followed by multinomial logistic regression analyses to explore social ecological factors (e.g., intrapersonal: depression; interpersonal: sexual relationship power, community: food insecurity) associated with experiencing YAV and YAV polyvictimization, and IPV and IPV polyvictimization. Results: Over half of participants (n = 333; mean age = 19.31; SD = 2.56, range = 16-24) reported YAV (n = 179; 53.7%) and 9.3% (n = 41) reported YAV polyvictimization. Most participants that were in an intimate relationship in the last 12 months (n = 200; 85.8%) reported IPV, among these, 45.5% reported one form of IPV and 54.5% reported IPV polyvictimization. In adjusted analyses, experiencing any YAV was significantly associated with: adolescent sexual and reproductive health (SRH) stigma; sexual relationship power; mobile app usage; depressive symptoms; childhood abuse; and childhood polyvictimization. In adjusted analyses YAV polyvictimization was associated with: depressive symptoms; childhood polyvictimization; sexual relationship power; and food insecurity. Recent IPV polyvictimization in adjusted analyses was associated with owning/using a mobile phone and depressive symptoms. Participants with higher sexual relationship power had lower odds of recent IPV polyvictimization. Conclusion: Findings suggest that YAV and IPV polyvictimization require urgent attention among forcibly displaced AGYW in Kampala. Multi-level strategies are required to address intrapersonal e.g. (depression), interpersonal (e.g. childhood abuse, sexual relationship power) and community (e.g. adolescent SRH stigma, food insecurity) factors associated with experiencing violence. Future research can tailor approaches to advance health, agency and human rights among urban forcibly displaced AGYW.
- Adolescent girls and young women
- Relationship power
- Social context
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health