Lincoln J Fry
Introduction: Violence is a major public health issue, globally and on the African continent. This paper continues a series of papers that have looked at the factors that predict interpersonal violence in sub-Saharan African countries, and this study looks at Sierra Leone. The purpose is to identify the factors which predict violence in Sierra Leone, and then to interpret the implications of the results for violence prevention programs. Methods: The study includes the responses of 1,190 respondents collected in 2012 by Round 5 of the Afrobarometer surveys. The research concentrates on 145 respondents who reported either they or someone else in their family had been the victim of violence, defined as being physically attacked in their home in the last year. Results: Logistical regression analysis identified five factors which predicted respondent victimization. In order of their strength these were being the victim of a property crime, fear of crime in the home, trust in the police, feeling unsafe walking in the neighborhood, .and the respondent’s employment status. The logistic regression produced Pseudo R2 of .60. Conclusions: These findings suggest that target hardening should be the framework used to begin to plan, implement and evaluate violence prevention programs in Sierra Leone. Re-victimization appears central to interpersonal crime in Sierra Leone. The implication of this study is crime prevention personnel/ law enforcement need to respond to reported incidents of property and/or violence victimization and attempt to prepare victims to protect both their premises and their persons in the future.