Intimate partner violence experienced by pregnant women availing antenatal care at a rural hospital in South Karnataka

Chitra Tomy, Minu Rose Mani, Sr. Deepa, Sr. Ann Christy, Avita Rose Johnson


Background: Intimate partner violence is a global phenomenon with 30% of women having faced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime. Rural women with poor access to health services and counselling, often suffer in silence. Intimate partner violence during pregnancy has a negative effect on maternal and foetal outcomes. The aims of the study were to estimate the prevalence of intimate partner violence among pregnant women availing antenatal care services in a rural area of South India in current pregnancy and in the past 12 months, and to study the various socio-demographic factors associated with intimate partner violence.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done among antenatal women availing services at a rural maternity hospital, using a questionnaire based on NFHS-3, to document physical, emotional and sexual domains of intimate partner violence.

Results: Among 150 pregnant women aged 18-29 years, the prevalence of any form of intimate partner violence was 30.7% in the past 12 months before pregnancy (physical 10.7%, sexual 2%, and emotional 26%), and 2.7%. in current pregnancy. Lower educational status of husband and wife, history of alcohol consumption, tobacco usage and unplanned pregnancy were all significantly associated with increased intimate partner violence.

Conclusions: Routine antenatal care provides an opportunity to screen women for intimate partner violence, especially those with risk factors like lower level of education, unplanned pregnancy as well as alcohol and tobacco consumption by the husband, which were found to be significantly associated with intimate partner violence in our study.


Intimate partner violence, Antenatal women, Maternity hospital

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