Prevalence, Pattern and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy at Abakaliki Southeast Nigeria
Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the most common type of violence against women. It is a major public health problem and violates the fundamental human rights of women. Aim: To determine the prevalence, pattern and consequences of IPV during pregnancy in Abakaliki, Southeast Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: A semi.structured questionnaire was designed for cross.sectional survey of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic between April and June 2011 at the Federal Medical Centre Abakaliki. A total of 321 questionnaires were correctly filled and then analyzed using Epi info software 2008 (Atlanta Georgia, USA).
Results: Out of the 321 booked pregnant women, 44.6% (143/321) reported having been abused in the index pregnancy. Age of woman, family setting, religion, educational level of couples, parity and social habits of their husbands significantly influenced IPV (P < 0.05). The common causes of IPV were no identifiable cause (20.1%) 29/144, domestic issues (19.4%) 28/144, keeping late nights (12.5%) 18/144 and financial problem (11.8%) 17/144. Verbal abuse (60.1%) 86/143 was the most common type of abuse and most pregnant women resorted to praying (31.5%) 46/146, crying (24.7%) 36/146, and begging (22.6%) 33/146 as their major reactions to IPV. Eleven (7.7%) 11/143 pregnant women were hospitalized while (21%) 30/143 sustained emotional and physical injury. Apologies were tendered after IPV by 84.6% (121/143) of
husband. Majority (83.9%) 120/143 of the abused did not support reporting IPV. Conclusion: Various types of IPV are still practiced commonly in our environment. IPV poses great threat to the reproductive health of all women especially during pregnancy.
Keywords: Abakaliki, Intimate partner violence, Nigeria, Pregnancy