271285 Self-Defense Training dramatically decreases the incidence of rape in Nairobi, Kenya

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:50 AM - 9:10 AM

Jake Sinclair, MD , Pediatrics, John Muir Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
Lee Paiva , Curriculum Development, No Means No Worldwide, San Francisco, CA
This study investigated the relationship between self-defense training and reduction in rape in an urban slum, in Nairobi, Kenya. The intervention group consisted of 381 - fifteen to twenty year old girls who participated in this 6 week course taught in 8 Secondary Schools in the vicinity of the slum. The self-defense curriculum teaches the girls simple, memorable and devastating techniques to fight off a rapist or other attacker. All the girls participating in the study completed a pre- and post-training questionnaire. The questionnaire utilized the “ballot box methodology” to ensure maximum confidentiality. It measured their ability to defend themselves successfully from individual and group attacks. Identical questionnaires were given to a control group consisting of 117 girls, who undertook life skill classes only. The girls who learned self-defense reported a significant reduction in rape in all the schools under study. The baseline incidence of rape amongst the intervention group in the year prior to the training was 24.7% and in the 10 months following the training the incidence decreased to 9.1%. Over half the intervention girls reported using the self-defense skills to fight off an attacker in the 10 months following their training. The control group reported no significant change in the incidence of rape in the 10 month period following their life skills classes. By the end of this session the participants will be familiar with the high incidence of rape amongst this high risk population and also recognize the efficacy of self-defense training in stopping rape.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
This presentation will demonstrate the efficacy of the "ballot-box" methodology in ascertaining data concerning highly sensitive topics like rape. Teaching self-defense to women and girls as a means to prevent rape will be described and the ability of self-defense to decrease the incidence of rape in a high-risk urban population will be analyzed.

Keywords: Sexual Assault, Violence Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician working in Africa for the past 10 years in the fields of poverty relief, HIV/AIDS, Gender Based Violence and family planning. I receive no financial remuneration for my efforts in my work there. I work in close collaboration with the school of sociology in the most prestigious private university in Kenya, USIU. Professor Munyae Mulinge PhD is my peer mentor and co-collaborator.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.