Domestic violence among antenatal attendees in a Kathmandu hospital and its associated factors: a cross-sectional study.BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 11 21; 16(1):360.BP
Domestic violence during pregnancy is a public health problem which violates human rights and causes an adverse effect on both maternal and fetal health. The objectives of the study were to assess the prevalence of domestic violence among the pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic, to explore the associated factors, and to identify the perpetrators of domestic violence.
A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 404 pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy. Convenient sampling was used to select the study population. Data collection tools consisted of questionnaires on socio-demographic characteristics of the woman and her spouse, social support, and the woman's attitude towards domestic violence, along with her experiences of psychological, physical, and sexual violence. Domestic violence was assessed using a questionnaire adapted from a World Health Organization multi-country study on women's health and life experiences. Relationships between domestic violence and the various factors were determined by bivariate analysis using a chi-square test. Binary logistic regression with 95% confidence interval and adjusted odds ratio were then applied to assess the factors independently associated with domestic violence.
More than one-quarter (27.2%) of the pregnant women had experienced some form of violence. The most common form of violence was sexual violence (17.3%), followed by psychological violence (16.6%) and physical violence (3.2%). Husbands within the age group 25-34 years (AOR = 0.38), women married for 2-5 years (AOR = 0.42) and who had one or two children (AOR = 0.32) were negatively associated with domestic violence. Whereas the presence of husband's controlling behavior (AOR = 1.88) and experience of violence before the current pregnancy (AOR = 24.55) increased the odds of experiencing violence during pregnancy. The husband was the major perpetrator in all type of violence.
Domestic violence is common among pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic. It indicates a need for routine screening during antenatal visits to identify women experiencing violence and thus provide support services, thereby preventing them from adverse health consequences.