Post-rape medicolegal service provision and policy in East Africa: a scoping review protocol

Sarah Rockowitz*, Heather Flowe, Caroline Bradbury-Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
140 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is an epidemic that continues to affect both men and women in East Africa. Despite the high prevalence of SGBV in this region, sexual offense policies are often unclear, poorly enforced, or completely lacking. When policies do exist practitioners who assist survivors in the aftermath of the violation often are unaware of them, or may not implement them for a host of reasons (e.g., culture, personal beliefs, and resource limitations). This scoping review seeks to evaluate the literature on existing sexual offense policies in East Africa and understand the consequences of its implementation, or lack thereof, on a survivor’s justice and medical and psychological wellbeing.

Methods: This scoping review will be guided by the amended Arksey and O’Malley framework recommendations (Levac et al., Implementation Science. 2010) and the 2015 Joanna Briggs Institute guidelines (Peters et al., Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewer’s Manual, 2020). The results will be presented using the adapted Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis: Extension for Scoping Reviews chart (PRISMA-ScR). The search strategy for this scoping review will include entering search terms into electronic databases, including PubMed, SCOPUS, CINAHL Plus, The British Library, and Web of Science. A “cited by” search will be conducted, which will also include entering references from the reference lists from other articles. Grey literature will be included in the review, which will be identified through searching individual country’s government websites, and other websites, such as the World Health Organization and the United Nations Human Rights Council. All references will be exported to Endnote library. Two independent reviewers will screen titles, abstracts, and full articles. Thematic analysis will be used to evaluate the included articles.

Discussion: Understanding the legal and regulatory context of SGBV in East Africa and its associations with service provision will generate knowledge on implications for wellbeing. This information can be used to evaluate potential human rights violations and inform future policy.

Systematic review registration: Open Science Framework
Original languageEnglish
Article number63
Number of pages5
JournalSystematic Reviews
Issue number1
Early online date24 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the University of Birmingham for providing resources to support this review.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


  • East Africa
  • Policy
  • Rape
  • Scoping review
  • Service provision
  • Sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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