WHO South-East Asia Journal of Public Health
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ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-143

Abuse against women in pregnancy: a population-based study from Eastern India


1 Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhubaneswar-751 023, Orissa; Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi-110 029, India
2 Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhubaneswar-751 023, Orissa, India

Correspondence Address:
Bontha V Babu
Regional Medical Research Centre, Indian Council of Medical Research, Bhubaneswar-751 023, Orissa; Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi-110 029
India
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DOI: 10.4103/2224-3151.206926

PMID: 28612789

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Background: Violence against women is widely recognized as an important public health problem. However, the magnitude of the problem among pregnant women is not well known in several parts of India. Hence, the prevalence and characteristics associated with various forms of domestic violence against women in pregnancy were studied in Eastern India. Methods: A population-based cross-sectional sample survey covering married women with a history of at least one full-term pregnancy (n 1525) was carried out in the Orissa, West Bengal and Jharkhand states of India. Interviews were conducted using a pre-piloted structured questionnaire to inquire about physical, psychological and sexual domestic violence. Data on socioeconomic characteristics and behaviours were also collected. The association of independent variables with domestic violence were examined by using logistic regression models. Results: The prevalence of physical, psychological and sexual domestic violence during a recent pregnancy was found to be 7.1%, 30.6% and 10.4% respectively, and the lifetime prevalence during all pregnancies was 8.3%, 33.4% and 12.6% respectively. Urban living, higher maternal age and husbands’ alcoholism were the factors associated with domestic violence in pregnancy. Women belonging to lower social groups were less likely to have physical domestic violence. Factors such as higher prevalence of undesirable behaviours like denying adequate rest and diet, demand for more sex, not providing antenatal care and pressure for male child were also associated with domestic violence in pregnancy. Conclusions: Considerable proportions of women experience some type of domestic violence during pregnancy. Health-care providers should be able to recognize and respond to pregnant women’s victimization and refer them for appropriate support and care.


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