Physical, emotional and sexual violence during pregnancy in Malatya, Turkey

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Karaoglu L., Celbış O., Ercan C., Ilgar M., Pehlıvan E., Güneş G., ...More

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH, vol.16, pp.149-156, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 16
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/eurpub/cki161
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.149-156
  • Keywords: emotional violence, physical violence, sexual violence, pregnancy, DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, WOMEN, ABUSE, PREVALENCE
  • Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University Affiliated: No


Background: In Turkey, violence against women was established as a critical area of concern related to women and various prevention strategies have been developed since 1980. There are limited numbers of studies on violence during pregnancy in the country. This study was performed to determine the prevalence of physical, emotional and sexual violence during pregnancy in Malatya province and the associated factors. Methods: A cross-sectional interview survey was conducted among pregnant women living in Malatya province between October 2003 and May 2004. Stratified probability-proportional-to-size sampling methodology was used for selecting the study population. A total of 824 pregnant women from 60 clusters were studied. Association between violence prevalences and womens' sociodemographic, fertility and behavioural characteristics were evaluated. Results: During pregnancy 31.7% of women were exposed to any form of violence. Emotional violence was the most frequently reported form (26.7%), followed by sexual (9.7%) and physical violence (8.1%). Regular smoking [ odds ratio ( OR) 1.6], unwanted pregnancy (OR 1.8), living in urban area (OR 1.5), low education level of husband (OR 1.7), low family income (OR 1.9) and being in second trimester (OR 1.4) were determined to be the main predictors of overall violence during pregnancy. Conclusions: Violence during pregnancy is a common public health problem in Malatya. Low education level in partners, low family income, husband's unemployment, urban settlement, unwanted pregnancy and smoking should alert health staff towards violence at pregnancy and training of health personnel on the subject is recommended.