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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2004 Aug;28(4):324-9.

Violence against young Australian women and association with reproductive events: a cross-sectional analysis of a national population sample.

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  • 1Mother and Child Health Research (formerly Centre for the Study of Mothers' and Children's Health), La Trobe University, Victoria.



This study aimed to investigate associations between violence and younger women's reproductive events using Survey 1 (1996) data of the Younger cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women's Health (ALSWH).


Multinomial regression, using composite variables for both violence and reproductive events, adjusting for socioeconomic variables and weighted for rural and remote areas.


23.8% of 14,784 women aged 18 to 23 years reported violence; 12.6% reported non-partner violence in the previous year; and 11.2% reported ever having had a violent relationship with a partner. Of the latter group, 43% (4.8% overall) also reported violence in the past year. Compared with women reporting no violence, women reporting partner but not recent violence (OR 2.55, 95% CI 2.10-3.09) or partner and recent violence (OR 3.96, 95% CI 3.18-4.93) were significantly more likely to have had one or more pregnancies. Conversely, having had a pregnancy (2561) was associated with an 80% increase in prevalence of any violence and a 230% increase in partner violence. Among women who had a pregnancy, having had a miscarriage or termination was associated with violence. Partner and recent violence is strongly associated with having had a miscarriage, whether alone (OR = 2.85, 95% CI 1.74-4.66), with a termination (OR = 4.60, 2.26-9.35), or with birth, miscarriage and a termination (OR = 4.12, 1.89-9.00).


Violence among young women of childbearing age is a factor for which doctors should be vigilant, well-trained and supported to identify and manage effectively.

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