University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Intimate Partner Violence and Pregnancy Intentions: A Qualitative Study

Baird, K., Creedy, D. and Mitchell, Theresa (2017) Intimate Partner Violence and Pregnancy Intentions: A Qualitative Study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 26 (15-16). pp. 2399-2408. ISSN 0962-1067 Online: 1365-2702

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Aim and Objective In this qualitative study we explored women’s pregnancy intentions and experiences of intimate partner violence before, during and after pregnancy. Background Unintended pregnancies in the context of intimate partner violence can have serious health, social and economic consequences for women and their children. Design Feminist and phenomenological philosophies underpinned the study to gain a richer understanding of women’s experiences. Methods Eleven women who had been pregnant in the previous two years were recruited from community-based women’s refuges in one region of the United Kingdom. Of the eleven women, eight had unplanned pregnancies, two reported being coerced into early motherhood, and only one woman had purposively planned her pregnancy. Multiple in-depth interviews focused on participants’ accounts of living with intimate partner violence. Experiential data analysis was used to identify, analyse and highlight themes. Results Three major themes were identified: men’s control of contraception, partner’s indiscriminate response to the pregnancy, and women’s mixed feelings about the pregnancy. Participants reported limited influence over their sexual relationship and Accepted Article This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. birth control. Feelings of vulnerability about themselves and fear for their unborn babies’ safety were intensified by their partners’ continued violence during pregnancy. Conclusion Women experiencing intimate partner violence were more likely to have an unintended pregnancy. This could be attributed to male dominance and fear, which impacts on a woman’s ability to manage her birth control options. The women’s initial excitement about their pregnancy diminished in the face of uncertainty and ongoing violence within their relationship. Relevance to clinical practice Women experiencing violence lack choice in relation to birth control options leading to unintended pregnancies. Interpreting the findings from the victim-perpetrator interactive spin theory of intimate partner violence provides a possible framework for midwives and nurses to better understand and respond to women’s experiences of violence during pregnancy.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: intimate partner violence, feminism, phenomenology, midwifery
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Theresa Mitchell
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2016 12:35
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2018 01:00

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