Pattern and determinant of violence against women attending antenatal clinic of University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti
Introduction: Domestic violence against women especially in pregnancy is a major social and public health problem occurring globally.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of domestic violence against women in pregnancy, the pattern of violence, its determinant (risk) factors and the perpetrators of the violence.
Method: It was a prospective descriptive cross-sectional study and a semi-structured questionnaire was administered to pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of the University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti.
Results: A total of three hundred and fifty women participated in the study after giving their consents and 34 women out of them had experienced domestic violence during pregnancy giving a prevalence of 9.7%. The husbands of the women were the sole perpetrators of the violence against them. Low educational attainment of the women (p = 0.0043) and their husbands (p = 0.001) and spousal alcoholic social habit (p = 0.006) were significantly associated with violence against women in pregnancy. Majority 29 (85.3%) of the women suffered physical abuse while 13 (30.2%) of
the women suffered verbal abuse. Frequent demands for money by the unemployed women from their husbands and spousal alcoholic social habit were mostly responsible for violence against the women each accounting for 13 (38.2%) of cases. Other reasons for violence in this study include refusal of spousal sexual advances, sudden change in religious beliefs, spousal unemployment and having only female children. Only 4 women did not state the reason for violence against them from their partners. Cultural acceptability of violence against women in 13 (54.2%) women and
the fear of stigmatization in 20 (80%) women were the commonest reasons why women who experienced violence did not confide in someone else and report in the hospital respectively.
Conclusion: Violence against women especially in pregnancy is common in this environment but a lot of such women keep this to themselves thus suffering in silence due to the culture and the assumption of the unfriendly health system. Health education of the populace about the danger of violence against women and the training of health workers about this public health condition are highly essential.
Keywords: Violence, Women, Pregnancy, Antenatal clinic
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