Intimate partner violence among pregnant women in Rwanda, its associated risk factors and relationship to ANC services attendance: a population-based study.BMJ Open. 2017 02 22; 7(2):e013155.BO
To investigate the prevalence of four forms of intimate partner violence during pregnancy in Rwandan women, associated sociodemographic and psychosocial factors and relationship to antenatal care service usage.
This was a cross-sectional population-based study conducted in the Northern province of Rwanda and in Kigali city.
PARTICIPANTS AND SETTINGS
A total of 921 women who gave birth within the past 13 months were included. Villages in the study area were selected using a multistage random sampling technique and community health workers helped in identifying eligible participants. Clinical psychologists, nurses or midwives carried out face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. Bivariable and multivariable logistic regression were used to assess associations.
The prevalence rates of physical, sexual, psychological violence and controlling behaviour during pregnancy were 10.2% (95% CI 8.3 to 12.2), 9.7% (95% CI 7.8 to 11.6), 17.0% (95% CI 14.6 to 19.4) and 20.0% (95% CI 17.4 to 22.6), respectively. Usage of antenatal care services was less common among women who reported controlling behaviour (OR) 1.93 (95% CI 1.34 to 2.79). No statistically significant associations between physical, psychological and sexual violence and antenatal care usage were found. Low socioeconomic status was associated with physical violence exposure (OR) 2.27 (95% CI 1.29 to 3.98). Also, young age, living in urban areas and poor social support were statistically significant in their associations with violence exposure during pregnancy.
Intimate partner violence inquiry should be included in the standard antenatal care services package and professionals should be trained in giving support, advice and care to those exposed. Gender-based violence is criminalised behaviour in Rwanda; existing policies and laws must be followed and awareness raised in society for preventive purposes.