Cross-sectional comparisons of violence and injuries among adults in a rural community, South Africa
Van Deventer, Juarieta Magrietha
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Violence and injuries are a global multifaceted health phenomenon with biological, psychological, social and environmental roots combining individual, relationship, social, cultural and environmental factors. Violence and injuries have been declared an international public health risk, however little is known about violence and injuries in the South African context especially in rural areas. In South Africa (SA) the injury death rate is almost twice the global average. These violence and injuries in SA have contributed to a high disease burden compared to other parts of the world. There is an underlying assumption that rural areas are safer than the urban environment, yet this is not always true. The aim of this study is to describe the trends in violence and injuries among adults aged 35 to 70 years living in a rural area within the North West Province over a period of 10 years. Data from the South African leg of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE-SA) study was used. The PURE-SA study is designed as an observational, cohort study where data collection occurred cross-sectionally at five year intervals 2005, 2010, 2015. The top three violence and injury events reported over the 10 year period of this study were two un-intentional injuries (falls and motor vehicle accidents [MVAs]) and violent acts. Violent events like physical assault, domestic violence and armed conflict were reported less than expected for all three data collection periods (2005, 2010 and 2015). However studies have shown that rural areas are specifically prone to under-reporting of violent acts. Even though violence was not widely reported in the present study, according to the views of the participants the increase of violent acts and crime is a primary concern to the community. There is a lot of room for improvement and research regarding violence and injuries on an individual, relationship, community and societal level. Collecting data regarding violence and injuries and the people‟s views of crime increase is a start to understand violence and injuries in a rural area about which little is known. A transdisciplinary approach needs to be taken in research for developing a rural-specific intervention regarding community health and safety.
- Health Sciences