Burden of intimate partner violence in a Local Government Area, South-West, Nigeria- a cross sectional study of pregnant women
Background: Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) has become one of the most important reproductive and public health issue attracting global attention. Women may experience violence at any point in their lives, but IPV during pregnancy is a focused attack that puts not just one, but two lives at risk, the pregnant woman and the unborn foetus. The objective of this study was to ascertain the burden of intimate partner violence amongst pregnant women in Oyo East Local Government of Oyo State, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Three hundred and fifty pregnant women aged 18-49 years were consecutively recruited from the sole secondary health care facility and 3 primary health care facilities randomly selected by balloting. A pre-tested semi-structured questionnaire adapted from the WHO Multi-Country Study on Women's Health and Domestic Violence was used to collect data. Data were analysed with SPSS version 16. Descriptive statistics, Chi square test and logistic regression were used to analyse the data at 0.05 significance level.
Results: Majority of the respondents (72.0%) reported intimate partner violence, while prevalence of 24.2% was obtained in the index pregnancy. Psychological forms of intimate partner violence were the commonest and physical forms, the least. The main types of physical violence experienced were slaps (72.0%), being hit (40.0%) and being kicked (34.7%). The main partner characteristics significantly associated with IPV included age 25-34 years, history of previous violent behaviour with other people and report of extra-marital affairs. Predictors of experience of physical IPV included: being in a polygamous family (OR= 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-0.8), being a skilled worker (OR= 7.2, 95% CI 1.9-27.4) and having a partner who abuse alcohol (OR=5.1, 95% CI 1.2-20.8).
Conclusion: Intimate partner violence is common among pregnant women and is a threat to women's health.