United States: Study Examines the Relationship between Intimate Partner Violence, Reproductive Coercion, and Unintended Pregnancy
Tuesday, December 28, 2010 12:40 PM

A study that examines the relationship between intimate partner violence, reproductive coercion, and unintended pregnancy was published in the January 2010 issue of the journal Contraception. The study finds that women who experience physical or sexual partner violence are also likely to experience birth control sabotage and reproductive coercion from their male partners, such as being prevented from taking birth control pills, having partners intentionally break condoms, or being pressured to get pregnant.

This is the first quantitative study to explain why unintended pregnancy is more common among abused women and teens. The study was conducted from August 2008 to March 2009 and involved surveying 1,300 women between 16 – 29 years old at five reproductive health clinics in California. The study showed that approximately one in five women experienced pregnancy coercion, and 15 percent experienced birth control sabotage.

Esta Soler, President of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, summed up the significance of the study as she said, “This very important study underscores the link between violence and abuse and unintended pregnancy – and the need for providers at reproductive clinics to screen female patients for violence, as well as for pregnancy coercion and birth control sabotage.”

The Family Violence Prevention Fund has created an initiative to raise awareness about birth control sabotage and reproductive coercion. To find out more, please visit KnowMoreSayMore.org.

To access the full report, please click here.

Compiled from: Study: Many Victims of Partner Violence Experience Reproductive Coercion, Family Violence Prevention Fund, (accessed 28 December 2010); Interagency Gender Working Group.