Crime victimization, health, and female genital mutilation or cutting among Somali women and adolescent girls in the United States, 2017

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives. To examine if exposure to victimization (e.g., homicide, violence, sexual assault, arson, kidnapping) is related to health problems, health care access and barriers, and health needs-beyond the effects of female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM/C)-among Somali women and adolescent girls. Methods. We collected original survey data in 2017 from 879 female Somalis in Arizona. Results. Compared with nonvictims, victims experienced significantly more health problems, were significantly less likely to have a designated place to receive health care, and identified significantly more health care needs and barriers to health care. Victims were 4 times more likely to experience depression or trauma and more than twice as likely to experience sexual intercourse problems, pregnancy problems, and gynecological problems. Among Somalis with FGM/C, victims had a 15% higher predicted probability of pregnancy-related health problems and a 19% higher predicted probability of gynecological health problems compared with nonvictimized Somalis with FGM/C. Conclusions. Somalis exposed to victimization have more health problems, needs, and health care barriers. Public Health Implications. Although more than 98% of Somali women and adolescent girls have undergone FGM/C, crime victimization affects health more than FGM/C alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-118
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume110
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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