Prevalence and pattern of domestic violence against pregnant Nigerian women.J Obstet Gynaecol. 2004 Sep; 24(6):652-6.JO
Five hundred and twenty-two pregnant Nigerians attending the antenatal clinic in two private hospitals in Lagos between January and June 2003 were interviewed using a structured questionnaire about their experiences of domestic violence. One hundred and four women declined to participate; a response rate of 80.1% was obtained. Analysis of the completed questionnaire by 418 respondents showed that 197 (47.1%) women reported a history of abuse. Of the 197 women who reported abuse, 23 (11.7%) experienced abuse for the first time during the current pregnancy, 97 (49.2%) experienced abuse prior to and during the current pregnancy and in the remaining 77 (39.1%) abuse predate the current pregnancy. A total of 120 (28.7%) women experienced some form of abuse during current pregnancy. Although all social and ethnic groups were involved, no association could be established between prevalence and pattern of abuse and sociodemographic characteristics. Verbal abuse was the most common type of abuse reported (52.3%), followed by economic deprivation (30%), physical abuse (25%), threat of violence (10.8%) and forced sex in 14.2%. The perpetrators of the abuse were husband and boyfriend (78.7%), in-laws (31.5%) and other relations (6.1%). The majority of abused women (99.0%) were not ready to report the abuse to the police. In conclusion, domestic violence is common in our environment and health-care providers should be alert to the clues in order to protect the women from further abuse.