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The prevalence rates of domestic abuse in women attending a family planning clinic
  1. June Keeling, BSc, RGN, Domestic Violence Co-ordinator/Researcher and
  2. Linda Birch, BSc, MA, Senior Lecturer/Practitioner
  1. Duchess of Westminster Wing, Arrowe Park Hospital, Upton, UK
  1. Correspondence Mrs June Keeling, PDRU, Duchess of Westminster Wing, Arrowe Park Hospital, Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral CH49 5PE, UK. E-mail: june.keeling{at}whnt.nhs.uk

Abstract

Context Domestic abuse has a detrimental impact on the mental and physical health of a woman. The abusive partner may use physical and sexual violence and ‘control’ the choice of contraception.

Objective To examine the prevalence rates of domestic abuse.

Design Data collection using anonymous questionnaire.

Setting A family planning clinic.

Participants Two hundred and ninety-two women.

Main outcome measures The prevalence rate of past and present history of domestic abuse and the nature of the abuse.

Results One in three women experienced domestic abuse at some time in their life. A significant relationship existed between the age of the woman and experiencing abuse within the last year. Women in full-time employment experienced the highest rates of abuse.

Discussion The anonymity of the research and the method of implementation encouraged an excellent response rate.

Conclusion During a woman's childbearing years, one-third of women may experience domestic abuse from their partner.

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  • Accepted November 27, 2003.

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