REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0001.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Gender And Sexuality Studies Keywords: sexual violence; migrants; refugees; asylum seekers; Europe; prevalence; Belgium
Online: 2 July 2018 (07:41:45 CEST)
1) Background: Sexual violence (SV) is a major public health issue with negative socio-economic and physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health consequences. Migrants, applicants for international protection and refugees (MAR) are identified as a vulnerable group for SV. Since many European countries have been confronted with high migratory pressure, developing prevention strategies and care paths focusing on those MAR affected by SV is needed. To this end, this study reviews evidence on the prevalence of SV among MAR groups in Belgium. 2) Methods: A critical interpretive synthesis was applied to 25 peer-reviewed articles and 22 grey literature documents based on the socio-ecological model. 3) Results: The evidence shows that prevalence rates of SV are high among MAR in Belgium, but comparable prevalence data are lacking. Several challenges for conducting prevalence studies SV in this population are identified and discussed. 4) Conclusions: Sexual violence in MAR in Europe is probably more frequent than in the general population, however representative studies confirming this hypothesis are lacking. Future research should start with a clear definition of the concerned population and acts of SV to generate comparable data. Participatory qualitative research approaches should be applied to fully grasp the complexity of interplaying determinants of SV in MAR.