Prevalence and Factors Associated With Domestic Violence during Pregnancy in Arua District, Uganda, 2015

  • Maternal and child health
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Background: Domestic violence (DV) during pregnancy is a serious public health challenge threatening maternal and fetal health outcomes. In Uganda, 16% of women experienced domestic abuse during pregnancy (UDHS 2011). The study investigated the prevalence and factors associated with domestic violence during pregnancy in Arua district so as to identify the magnitude of the problem, inform policy so as to protect pregnant women.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Multi stage sampling technique was applied. Interviewer administered questionnaires were used. Binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify strongest factors associated with domestic violence.
Results: A total of 459 pregnant women were sampled. Prevalence of domestic violence during pregnancy was 48%. Emotional violence was the most prevalent form of violence (40%) followed by physical abuse contributing 29% and sexual violence 28%. Pregnant women reported husbands as their most perpetrators. Partner’s alcohol consumption was the strongest risk factor associated with domestic violence during pregnancy (AOR 12.20 CI 2.25-65.92)followedbynumberofwives (AOR 2.16 C.I 1.08-4.32), wanting to be pregnant (AOR 0.26 C.I 0.14-0.48) and occupation too (AOR 2.22 C.I 1.12-4.42).
Conclusion: Domestic violence against pregnant women was quite high. Almost five in ten women experienced domestic violence. Partner’s alcohol consumption and number of wives were the strongest factors. Partner involvement during antenatal period is important. Increased attention to this vulnerable group is needed to improve maternal and child health. Antenatal care is known to be an important window of opportunity in providing support.

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