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Prevalence of domestic violence among antenatal women attending a Nigerian hospital



Prevalence of domestic violence among antenatal women attending a Nigerian hospital



Nigerian Journal of Medicine 18(4): 375-379



Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well being and not just the absence of disease. Domestic violence (synonyms: spouse abuse, partner or intimate violence, family violence) is a public health problem which is defined as any intentional abuse of a family member (mostly females but not exclusive) by his/her partner that causes pain or injury. There is paucity of data on domestic violence mainly because of under-reporting by the victims. However, domestic violence is said to be a more frequent occurrence than other recognized pregnancy complications such as pre-eclampsia, twin pregnancy or gestational diabetes for which women are routinely screened during the antenatal period. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of domestic violence in pregnant women attending the antenatal clinic of a local Nigerian mission hospital in Jos, Plateau state. This was a cross-sectional, descriptive study of women attending antenatal clinic at ECWA Evangel Hospital, Jos over a six month period using the Abuse Assessment Screen developed by McFarlane to detect the prevalence of domestic violence. The data were analysed using Epi Info Version 2002. Three hundred and forty pregnant women were studied. Majority of them were married and were mostly aged between 20 and 39 years. Domestic violence prevalence was 12.6% (43) in the current pregnancy and 63.2% (215) previously. The study establishes that women in our environment experience domestic violence during pregnancy and majority of them also have a previous history of abuse. There is the need to routinely screen for domestic violence in pregnant women so as to prevent potential adverse pregnancy outcomes and to interrupt existing abuse.

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Accession: 055157325

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PMID: 20120140


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