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THE EFFECTS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ON PREGNANT WOMEN

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Domestic violence against women is one of the most pervasive abuses of human rights in the world, that lie in the spheres of those who are interested in the study of women’s health and her rights. Violence against women is the barrier of women’s empowerment and hinders the equal participation in society. However, they often go unnoticed and undocumented and therefore unresolved. Violence during pregnancy may threaten not only a woman well-being but that of her unborn child. Among women who had ever been pregnant six percent were hit, slapped, kicked or subjected to some other form of physical violence (Bailey, 2012).

Moreover domestic violence known as spousal abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), which is defined as “behavior within an intimate relationship that causes physical, sexual, or psychological harm, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors’” ( Audi, 2012). In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that, the prevalence of physical or sexual, or both type of violence varied from fifteen percent to seventy one percent in different countries. Physical injury, psychological problems and complications of pregnancy are some of the health consequences that result from violence inflicted on pregnant women by their intimate male partners (WHO, 2011). Urquia et al., 2011, was reported that un-attention has been given to domestic violence during pregnancy as global public health problem due to its adverse health consequences. An understanding of the effect of a partner’s violence against a pregnant woman could have important reproductive health implications with early identification. It could also help in shaping future intervention programs. Pregnancy provides an opportunity to screen for domestic violence since pregnant women make routine antenatal visits. On the other hand, violence against women perpetrated by husbands occur in every society, but its prevalence and tolerance vary from country to country. Studies demonstrate that violence during pregnancy is more common in developing countries than developed countries and the consequence of domestic violence during pregnancy ranges from financial hardships and decreased intimacy to high rates of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality (Devries et al., 2010). Violence during pregnancy had a higher rates of preterm labor and intrauterine growth retardation than women without a history of violence, also domestic violence during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, bleeding during pregnancy, and higher neonatal deaths (Berenson et al., 2010) Intimate partner violence during pregnancy is a serious public health issue which threatens fetal and maternal health, so the effects of intimate partner violence on women’s health are increasing attention from local and international policy makers, and from the healthcare community, this is due to an increased awareness of the prevalence of violence. Also the government has recognized the need to increase the awareness, understanding, and recognition of domestic violence to encourage victims to come forward (Shah, 2010). Researches has shown that nurses feel inadequately prepared to deal with victims of domestic violence and that a gap in practice and knowledge experience requires support and education, so antenatal care is very important for early detection of intimate partner violence, and is providing a suitable setting for addressing issues of violence. Asking questions may assist women to disclose their experiences of violence to health professionals and enable access to additional support and care, including community, legal and police support services (Flach et al., 2011).

1.STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Violence against women, committed by an intimate partner, is an important public health and human rights issue. In recent years, attention has focused also on intimate partner violence during pregnancy due to its prevalence, adverse health consequences and intervention potential. So, an understanding of the effect of a partner’s violence against a pregnant woman could have important reproductive health implications with early identification. Pregnancy provides an opportunity to screen for domestic violence since pregnant women make routine visits during this period. Therefore, it is critical to explore the impact of violence on pregnancy outcomes in pregnant women.

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Updated: 6th April 2020 — 2:14 pm

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