Methods: 213 substance-involved women were enrolled into a gender-based violence screening pilot intervention study through a network of harm reduction organizations in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia. Data reported here are from the baseline assessment; participants completed a computer-assisted survey that captured socio-demographics, lifetime and recent (past three months) IPV and nIPV (physical, sexual, injurious, emotional, deprivation of resources), and engagement in transactional sex: recent (past 90 days; RTS), former (some lifetime, but not within past 90 days; FTS), and no transactional sex history (NTS), among other variables. Multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to examine the association between history of transactional sex and IPV and nIPV, reporting adjusted odds ratios).
Results: 108 women (50.7%) of the sample reported a history of transactional sex: 65 reported FTS and 43 reported RTS. The prevalence of lifetime IPV (n=200, 93.90%) and nIPV (n=203, 95.31%) were high for the overall sample, as were the prevalence figures for recent IPV (n=163, 76.53%) and nIPV (n=141, 66.20%). Multivariate analyses examining recent IPV by history of transactional sex showed that women who reported RTS were significantly more likely to report recent physical (p<.01), sexual (p<.001), emotional (p<.001), and any type of IPV (p<.001), compared to women who reported FTS and NTS. No significant differences were observed between women who reported NTS and FTS.
Examining nIPV, women who reported RTS were significantly more likely to report elevated odds of injurious (p<.001), deprivation (p<.001), physical (p<.001), sexual (p<.001), emotional (p<.001), and any recent nIPV (p<.001) compared to women who reported FTS and NTS. We also found that women who reported FTS were significantly more likely to report recent physical (p<.001) and sexual (p<.001) nIPV compared to women who reported NTS.
Conclusions and Implications: The findings demonstrate both high prevalence of IPV and nIPV among a sample of substance-involved women and excess risk of IPV and nIPV among women who are actively engaged in transactional sex. The findings also critically highlight that gender-based violence risks among women shift over time with active engagement in transactional sex and by perpetrator type. In addition to more expansive research examining the mechanisms that explain the observed patterns, interventions should attune closely to the varied risks of IPV and nIPV among women with a history of transactional sex through comprehensive intake and safety planning.