Prevalence and associated factors with sexual violence victimisation youth before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown: a cross-sectional study in Spain

Objectives To analyse the prevalence of sexual violence (SV) and associated factors in Spanish young adults in the last year and before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown. Design Cross-sectional study based on the online ‘SV in Young People Survey’ (2020). Setting Non-institutionalised population residing in Spain. Participants 2515 men and women aged 18–35 years old. The participants were obtained from a probability based, online closed panel of adults aged 16 or older that is representative of the non-institutionalised population. The sample designed includes quotas by sex, age, region and country of origin. Outcomes measures and analyses SV victimisation by sociodemographics, sexual attraction and couple-related characteristics during the past year and before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown (March–June 2020). Prevalence ratios were calculated using robust Poisson regression models. Results In Spain, 8.5% of young people experienced SV during the past year. The greatest prevalence was observed in women with bisexual attraction (17.5%) and in men with homosexual attraction (14.2%). During the COVID-19 lockdown, the prevalence of SV victimisation was lower (1.9%), but unwanted intercourses increased, affecting 64.4% of those exposed to SV during the period. People with homosexual or bisexual attraction were more likely to experience SV in all of the studied periods (PRbefore: 2.01; p<0.001; PRduring: 2.63 p=0.002; PRafter: 2.67; p<0.001). Women were more likely than men to experience SV prior to the lockdown, while no cohabitation increased the likelihood to experience SV after this period Conclusions SV victimisation in Spanish youth is high. During COVID-19, there were changes in the magnitude of factors associated with SV. It seems that SV events decreased in people who did not live with their partners, but unwanted intercourses increased. The development of prevention strategies to address SV in youth should take into account social inequalities by sex, sexual orientation and origin ​
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