Online Program

Family Violence and Child Sexual Abuse Among South Asians in the U.S

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Hillary A. Robertson, MPH, College of Social Work, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Nitasha Nagaraj, MPH, DrPH, Department of Prevention & Community Health, The George Washington University/Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, DC, DC
Amita Vyas, PhD, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Washington, DC
Background/Significance: Family violence, including child sexual abuse (CSA), is a significant public health problem in the United States. It has been particularly difficult to assess violence among South Asians (SA) in the U.S. due to the model minority myth and a lack of data on this ethnic population.

Objective/Purpose: Despite what is known in South Asian countries, little is known about family violence and CSA among the growing population of SAs in the U.S.  To that extent, a quantitative survey of SA adults living in the U.S. was conducted to better understand the relationships between family violence, CSA, and suicide ideation/attempt.

Methods: Over four hundred SAs living in the U.S. were surveyed about their history of sexual violence, exposure to family violence, and suicide ideation.  Descriptive analyses were performed to explore relationships between socio-demographic characteristics, suicide ideation/attempts, and violence-related  variables. A logistic multivariate regression model for any CSA examined other violence, suicide ideation and attempt and adjusted for gender and U.S. born.

Results: One-fourth (25.2%) of the sample reported experiencing CSA; 13.8% reported sexual abuse involving exposure; 21.5% reported sexual abuse involving touching; 4.5% reported experiencing attempted sexual intercourse; and 3.5% reported experiencing actual sexual intercourse.  Adjusted odds ratios found that participants who reported any relationship violence were significantly more likely to have experienced CSA (OR 2.28; CI 1.26-4.13); and suicide attempt was significantly associated with CSA (OR 3.96; CI 1.27-12.3).

Discussion/Conclusions: The present study’s findings are important as multivariate analyses found significant relationships between CSA and relationship violence and suicide attempt.   The findings presented here must guide future research, policy, and practice.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the rates of childhood sexual violence and its relationship to re-victimization later in life and suicide ideation and suicide attempt.

Keyword(s): Child Abuse, Suicide

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an Abstract author on the content because I contributed to the development and implementation of methods. In addition, I help to conduct all statistical analyses and preparation of the study conclusions. I believe our work addresses an important gap in what is known about child sexual abuse in the South Asian American community and believe the findings will guide future research, policy and practice.
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.