Female sex workers’ experiences of violence and substance use on the haitian, dominican republic border

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Background: Female sex workers (FSW) are socially and economically marginalized, and this vulnerability can be exacerbated when they hold the intersectional identity of also being an immigrant, such as in the case of Haitian FSWs in the Dominican Republic. Objective: Considering that half of migratory young women and girls relocating across the Latin American and Caribbean region do so without their families, increasing the likelihood of experiencing abuses, our primary objective was to test the hypothesis that Haitian FSWs in the Dominican Republic have higher odds of being physically abused by sexual partners compared to Haitian FSWs in Haiti. Methods: We conducted bivariate analyses and multivariate analyses on 2014 Hispaniola Sex Workers Study (N = 232). Findings: Approximately 80% of Haitian FSWs in the Dominican Republic reported experiencing violence by a regular partner (80.3%), compared with 60.0% of Haitian FSWs in Haiti (χ2 = 11.34, p < 0.001). Controlling for socio-demographics, substance use, childhood abuse, and sexual behaviors, Haitian FSWs in Haiti maintained lower odds of experiencing violence by a regular partner (OR:0.37, p < 0.01) and higher odds of experiencing violence from a coworker (OR:6.38, p < 0.001) compared to FSWs in the Dominican Republic. Using sex to avoid arrest is associated with higher odds of experiencing violence by a client and violence by a coworker (OR:2.18, p < 0.05; OR:3.74, p < 0.001; respectively). Accepting payment in the form of drugs/alcohol is associated with higher odds of experiencing physical violence by a regular partner but lower odds of experiencing violence by a client (OR:3.99, p < 0.05; OR:0.43, p < 0.05; respectively). Conclusions: Assuming health is a human right, then practitioners and scholars must actively collaborate to fortify vulnerable populations against injurious structural and sociocultural forces examining the inter-sectionality and compound effects of multiple stigmatized identities, in this study being an FSW and an immigrant, that moderate the potential positive effects of public health interventions.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hearld KR; Budhwani H; Martínez-órdenes M; Altaf A; Hasbun J; Waters J
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 7
  • Volume

  • 86
  • Issue

  • 1