Prevalence of violence against pregnant women in Abeokuta, Nigeria
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 48, Issue 4, pages 405–414, August 2008
How to Cite
FAWOLE, A. O., HUNYINBO, K. I. and FAWOLE, O. I. (2008), Prevalence of violence against pregnant women in Abeokuta, Nigeria. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 48: 405–414. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2008.00868.x
- Issue published online: 29 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2008
- Received 14 January 2008; accepted 29 February 2008.
- abused women;
- battered women;
- domestic violence;
- violence against pregnant women
Aim: To determine the prevalence of violence to pregnant women within 12 months prior to and during the current pregnancy.
Methods: Cross-sectional study of 534 pregnant women attending three secondary and one tertiary health facility in Abeokuta, Nigeria using semistructured interviewer-administered questionnaires.
Results: Prevalence of violence within 12 months prior to pregnancy was 14.2%. Polygamous union, low level of education in both woman and partner and consumption of alcohol by partners were significant (P < 0.05) risk factors of violence prior to pregnancy. Verbal abuse was the most common (66.2%) type of abuse. Others included flogging (10.8%), slaps (9.5%), threats of violence (6.8%) and forced sexual intercourse (2.7%). The perpetrators were often husbands (65.8%) and the parents (15.8%).
Some 2.3% of pregnant women had experienced violence during current pregnancy. Low level of education was significantly (P < 0.05) associated with experiencing violence during pregnancy. Although almost 25% of the pregnancies were unplanned, this was not significantly associated with experiencing violence (P > 0.05). There were similarities in the perpetrators and forms of violence experienced before and during pregnancy, with partners being the most common perpetrators.
Conclusion: Gender-based violence is common in our environment. Health-care providers should routinely screen for gender-based violence during antenatal visits in order to protect the health of both mother and child.