Tenth of pregnant women subjected to violence

August 14th, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 14 (IANS) A tenth of pregnant women experience violence, of which three-quarters continue to be beaten by the child’s father even after they become pregnant. Such violence was associated with both women and their partners being less likely to want pregnancy, according to two studies from University of Auckland.

The first study reported women who experienced violence during pregnancy were much more likely to smoke tobacco while pregnant (67 percent), than those who had not experienced violence (22 percent).

The second study showed that one in three women reported having at least one miscarriage, while one in 10 had terminated a pregnancy.

Asian women or 30 percent were more likely to have an abortion compared with tribal women (12 percent). Women’s experience of intimate partner violence was associated with both increased risk of miscarriage (1.4 times more likely), and increased likelihood of abortion (2.5 times more likely).

Janet Fanslow, a senior lecturer at the University and principal investigator said “settings that provide reproductive health services for women need to continue to train their staff, and ensure that they have adequate community links, to assist women to respond to current and past experiences of partner violence”.

The New Zealand study interviewed nearly 3,000 women aged 18 to 64 from the Auckland and Waikato regions about their experiences of violence.

These findings were published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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