This study in in this month’s issue of BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology found that women are at a higher risk of being abused after their pregnancy and if they face more social/economic/cultural adversity. The question is then, should women be screened for abuse during there pre-natal exams?
Bowen and her team analyzed information from a long-term study of 7,591 pregnant women seen over a two-year period. The women completed questionnaires at 18 weeks of pregnancy, as well as at 8 weeks, 8 months, 21 months and 33 months after their delivery about whether their partner had inflicted any physical or emotional cruelty upon them.
They also answered separate questions to determine their level of family adversity, including whether they were younger than 20 years old at their first pregnancy, whether they had inadequate housing or financial difficulties, if they or their partner had been in trouble with the police and whether they had depression or anxiety.
A total 11 percent of the women reported experiencing physical or emotional cruelty after delivery, in comparison to 5 percent who said they experienced such abuse while pregnant.