Does it make any difference if she is a mother? An interactional perspective on intimate partner violence with a focus on motherhood and pregnancy

Solveig Karin Bø Vatnar, Stål Bjørkly
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2010, 25 (1): 94-110
The authors report on the impact of motherhood and pregnancy on interactional aspects of intimate partner violence (IPV) among help-seeking women. Is having children a protective or a risk factor for IPV severity, injury, duration, frequency, and mortal danger, controlling for sociodemographics? Regarding interactional aspects of IPV, do survivors who experience IPV during pregnancy differ from those who do not? Is IPV during pregnancy characterized by different severity, injury, frequency, and mortal danger? A representative sample of women was interviewed. Motherhood increased the risk for longer duration of physical, psychological, and sexual IPV, even controlling for duration of partnership. Combinations of main categories of IPV during pregnancy were different from when not pregnant. Duration of physical and psychological IPV was the only variable increasing the likelihood of experiencing IPV during pregnancy. All physical IPV variables were significantly lower during pregnancy. For psychological IPV, all variables but frequency were lower. Only mortal danger was significantly lower in the sexual IPV main category.

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