Assessing gender differences in emotional, physical, and sexual violence against adolescents living in the districts of Pikine and Kolda, Senegal

YasmineAnwar, Mohamoudou Sall, Beniamino Cislaghi, Angelo Miramonti, Courtney Clark, Moussé Bar Faye, Mark Canavera


Locally representative research and data on violence against children are important to understand the nature and scale of the issue and to inform effective prevention and response programs and policies. In Senegal, few population-level data estimating the prevalence of physical, emotional, or sexual violence against adolescents exist.


This study assesses whether the gender of adolescents in two Senegalese districts is associated with having experienced emotional, physical, or sexual violence and whether such associations vary depending on district of residence and poverty status.

Participants and setting

The sample comprised of 833 adolescents aged 13–18 residing in the peri-urban district of Pikine and rural district of Kolda.


Cross-sectional population-based household survey data were analyzed using logistic regression models.


Adolescent boys had 1.6 times greater odds than adolescent girls of having experienced emotional abuse in the past month (adjusted OR = 1.6, 95 % CI 1.1, 2.5) in Pikine. Adolescents living in Pikine and in households with low poverty scores were more likely to have experienced physical abuse in the past month. Gender was a significant predictor of sexual abuse in Kolda, where the prevalence of sexual abuse among adolescent girls was twofold higher compared to boys (adjusted OR = 2.09, 95 % CI 1.03, 4.23).


Boys in Pikine were more likely to experience emotional violence, and girls in Kolda were at a significantly higher risk of experiencing sexual violence. Prevention and response programs must consider gender and geographic variation to maximize their potential to effectively reduce violence against children.

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