A global perspective on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: An analysis of twelve developing countries

Demori E Driver, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Violence against women has been recognized as a significant worldwide human rights issue and public health problem. Women of reproductive age may be particularly at risk, and pregnancy may trigger or escalate violence. Using data available from Demographic and Health Surveys on 271,103 women of reproductive age (15-49) from Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Haiti, India, Kenya, Nicaragua, Peru, South Africa, and Zambia, this study examined the nature of domestic violence during pregnancy in developing countries, including prevalence, demographic and risk factors, maternal and child health outcomes, perpetrators of violence, help-seeking behavior, and social support. In the majority of countries analyzed, violence during pregnancy consistently occurred at approximately one-third the rate at which domestic violence occurred overall. Younger women and women with more children were particularly at risk. Abuse during pregnancy was significantly associated with history of a terminated pregnancy and under-5 child mortality in most countries, and with neonatal and post-neonatal mortality in most Latin American countries. Women who were abused during pregnancy were most often abused by their current or former husband or boyfriend and most never attempted to seek help. In most countries that examined social support, women abused during pregnancy had significantly less contact with family and friends. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

Subject Area

Public health|Criminology|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Driver, Demori E, "A global perspective on intimate partner violence during pregnancy: An analysis of twelve developing countries" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1447191.