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Study finds asking about pregnancy coercion and intimate-partner violence can reduce their incidence
Date:8/30/2010

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) Specifically asking young women during visits to family planning clinics whether their partners had attempted to force them to become pregnant a type of intimate-partner violence called reproductive coercion dramatically reduced the likelihood that the women would continue to experience such pressures, according to a new pilot study led by researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Young women who recently experienced partner violence had a 70 percent reduction in the odds that they would continue to experience pregnancy coercion following the questioning, which is called a brief intervention, the study found. The study participants also were 60 percent more likely to report ending a relationship with a partner because they felt unsafe or the relationship felt unhealthy.

"This pilot study was focused on how we might better identify intimate-partner violence and reproductive coercion in clinical settings and offer women specific strategies to reduce their risk of an unwanted pregnancy and increase their safety," said Elizabeth Miller, associate professor of pediatrics at the UC Davis School of Medicine and the study's lead author. "These findings are extremely encouraging, and suggest that such clinical interventions may be useful in reducing both partner violence and unintended pregnancy."

Published online in the journal Contraception the study, "A Family Planning Clinic Partner Violence Intervention to Reduce Risk Associated with Reproductive Coercion," assessed the effectiveness of what the authors said is the first step toward a harm-reduction health-care protocol for reducing women's risk of becoming pregnant by abusive partners, a widespread public-health problem.

Reproductive coercion involves both pregnancy coercion, in which partners verbally pressure women to become pregnant, and birth-control sabotage. Birth-control sabotage involves partners' interference with contraception, incl
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Contact: Phyllis Brown
phyllis.brown@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9023
University of California - Davis - Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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