Many South Africa women‚ already in difficult situations‚ are experiencing violence during pregnancy at the hands of their intimate partners‚ a new study has found.
Of the 376 women who took part in the research‚ 15% had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy‚ with forms of abuse ranging from sexual and physical to emotional and verbal.
This is against a backdrop of South Africa having intimate partner violence (among all women‚ not just those who are pregnant) which is “double that of the United States of America”‚ and which is as high as 71% in some communities.
Just published in the international BMC Women’s Health Journal‚ the study was carried out by a team from the University of Cape Town.
The sample was drawn from women attending antenatal services at a primary-level maternity facility in Cape Town.
The researchers found that the high level of violence during pregnancy resulted from a combination of poverty-related factors including food insecurity‚ mental ill-health‚ unemployment‚ unwanted pregnancies‚ and past experiences of abuse.