AccScience Publishing / IJPS / Volume 10 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.36922/ijps.0621

The landscape of physical sexual violence in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria: A systematic review

Emmanuel O. Amoo1* Joy O. Nwosu1 Fred Nwogu1 Christian P. Washington1 Henry O. Chukwu1 Mercy E. Adebayo2 Amos A. Olore2 Tayo O. George2
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1 Demography and Social Statistics Programme, College of Management and Social Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Sociology, College of Management and Social Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
IJPS 2024, 10(3), 46–59;
Submitted: 19 April 2023 | Accepted: 19 November 2023 | Published: 30 May 2024
© 2024 by the Author(s). This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution -Noncommercial 4.0 International License (CC-by the license) ( )

The present study aimed to determine the trending country-specific common forms and patterns of sexual violence in Sub-Saharan African countries considering the multi-component nature of the menace. We systematically reviewed the population-based studies, obtained from PubMed, Medline, Scopus, and Google Scholar, that dealt with all-encompassing physical sexual violence in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria. The quality and significance of the data obtained were assessed, and similar events were grouped and reported found to have inspired policy recommendations for non-sexual violence initiatives and respect for sexual and reproductive health rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. This systematic review revealed that sexual violence is captured as sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual abuse, rape, coercive sex, incest, child sexual abuse, and intimate partner sexual violence. Botswana ranked first in worldwide rape statistics, while Nigeria and Kenya ranked 135th and 103rd, respectively. Ethiopia’s global rape ranking was not available at the completion of writing this paper, and further statistical proof(s) on these ranks were also not established in this review. The historic record for Botswana on forced sex reads 10.3% while forced marriage for Ethiopia shows 58%. Across the four countries selected, intimate partner violence ranges between 9.0% and 58.6%. While completed rapes, attempted rapes, and forced sexual initiation were mentioned in a few studies, the lifetime sexual violence ranges between 45.4% and 56%. In addition, the generic sexual violence was between 9.6% and 61.2%. In summation, sexual violence is prevailing at the locations of study, regardless of age, gender, or community. However, since the actual or suspected dominant perpetrators of sexual violence are overrepresented in the male populations, enlightenment campaigns should be implemented for boys and men so that they grow more conscious of other gender’s sexual rights in the conduct or pursuit of their sexual satisfaction and behavior. Effective community engagement (with parents, workers, academics, and students) should be prioritized by various governments and other stakeholders toward the achievement of improved sexual health, and well-being among the populace.

Sexual violence
Intimate partner sexual violence
Sexual harassment
Sub-Saharan Africa
Systematic review

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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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