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

uding secretly or overtly damaging condoms to force a woman to become pregnant or throwing away or preventing her from using birth control pills.

The study was conducted in four Northern California family-planning clinics between May 2008 and October 2009. The intervention was designed collaboratively with the Family Violence Prevention Fund and reproductive health experts. Family planning counselors and clinicians were trained to implement the intervention at two of the four sites. Two control sites provided standard domestic violence and sexual assault screening. Participants included approximately 900 English- and Spanish-speaking women between 16 and 29 years old, with the vast majority of the women, 76 percent, aged 24 or younger.

The intervention involved assessing for partner violence and reproductive coercion during a reproductive health visit, discussing harm-reduction strategies to reduce risk for unintended pregnancy and connecting women to violence-related resources. In the context of inquiries about the reason for the clinic visit, the participants who received the intervention were asked straight-forward questions about pregnancy coercion and birth-control sabotage integrated into their reproductive health visit. A positive response to any of these inquiries was considered reproductive coercion. The inquiries included:

  • "Have you hidden birth control from your partner so he wouldn't get you pregnant?"
  • "Has your partner tried to force you to become pregnant when you didn't want to be?"
  • "Does your partner mess with your birth control?"
  • "Does your partner refuse to use condoms when you ask?"
  • "Has your partner ever hurt you physically because you didn't agree to become pregnant?"

Study participants at control clinics who did not receive the intervention received standard-of-care questionnaires that asked: "Have you ever been hit, kicked, slapped or choked by your current or form
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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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