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Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Apr;113(4):866-72. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31819bdc93.

Prevalence of domestic violence in a pregnant military population.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Virginia 23708, USA.



To estimate the prevalence of domestic violence and the characteristics of pregnant women reporting domestic violence in a military setting.


This was a prospective observational study of patients presenting for prenatal care to a Naval hospital from January 2007 to March 2008. Participants were screened anonymously for domestic violence using the Abuse Assessment Screen. Data were summarized using medians, interquartile ranges, and frequency distributions. Univariable comparisons between groups were conducted using Mann-Whitney tests for continuous data and chi2 tests for categorical outcomes


Of the 1,162 surveys, 14.5% screened positive for abuse (either current or past), and 1.5% of respondents reported current pregnancy abuse. Relative to married women, single women (odds ratio [OR] 1.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04-3.16, P=.036) and separated or divorced women (OR 3.45, 95% CI 1.59-7.46, P=.002) were at an overall increased risk of physical or emotional partner abuse. Compared with married women, the single women (OR 2.80, 95% CI 1.35-5.78, P=.005), but not the separated or divorced women (P=.172), were at increased risk for partner abuse in the previous 12 months. A family history of abuse also was associated with an increased risk of abuse within the previous 12 months (OR 5.99, 95% CI 2.99-11.99, P<.001).


The prevalence of domestic violence in our pregnant military population was 14.5%, which is in the upper range of the prevalence reported in a nonmilitary population (0.9-23%). Unmarried status and a history of abuse may indicate a higher abuse risk.



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