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J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2007 May;29(5):415-23.

The prevalence of intimate partner violence among women and teenagers seeking abortion compared with those continuing pregnancy.

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1
Clinique de Planification des Naissances, Rimouski, Québec.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) among women and teenagers seeking termination of pregnancy compared with those continuing with pregnancy.

METHODS:

All women who presented for elective termination of pregnancy at a family planning clinic between June 2001 and January 2003 were invited to participate. This study was conducted by means of face-to-face interviews with clinic nurses. The control group was composed of women who were continuing with pregnancy.

RESULTS:

In total, 1003 women were interviewed, including 350 at the family planning clinic (elective abortion [EA] group) and 653 women at the perinatal clinic (continuing pregnancy [CP] group). For women in the EA group, the probability of being a victim of IPV in the past year (including psychological, physical, and/or sexual abuse) was almost three times higher than for women in the CP group (25.7% vs. 9.3%, P < 0.0001), and the risk of being a victim of physical and/or sexual IPV in the past year was almost four times higher (7.1% vs. 1.8%, P < 0.0001). Women in the EA group had also more often been victims of violence in their lifetime (41.1% vs. 29.1%, P = 0.0001). The principal factors predictive of having been a victim of physical and/or sexual IPV in the past year were being single, separated, divorced, or widowed, and being in a relationship that was in difficulty or breaking down. In the multivariate analysis adjusted for confounding factors, age was rarely a significant factor.

CONCLUSION:

The high prevalence rates of IPV among women seeking elective abortion justifies routine assessment for IPV during pre-abortion visits. Physicians have access to tools that will help them to identify IPV and to be proactive regarding this important issue.

PMID:
17493373
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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