Back to Journals » International Journal of Women's Health » Volume 12

Prevalence and Associated Factors of Intimate Partner Violence During Pregnancy in Eastern Ethiopia

Authors Ashenafi W, Mengistie B, Egata G, Berhane Y

Received 18 January 2020

Accepted for publication 27 March 2020

Published 5 May 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 339—358


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Everett Magann

Wondimye Ashenafi,1 Bezatu Mengistie,2 Gudina Egata,1 Yemane Berhane3

1School of Public Health, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia; 2Department of Environmental Health Science, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia; 3Department of Epidemiology, Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Wondimye Ashenafi
School of Public Health, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia

Background: Intimate partner violence is a major public health problem and a gross violation of human rights. The consequences of this violation are severe during pregnancy as the fetus/newborn could also be affected negatively. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and associated factors of intimate partner violence during pregnancy (IPVP) in Eastern Ethiopia.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 3015 postpartum mothers in Eastern Ethiopia. Data were collected using the WHO Violence Against Women questionnaire. Factors associated with IPVP were assessed by a log-binomial regression model using Stata version  14.
Results: The overall prevalence of IPVP was 30.5% (95% CI: 28.8, 32.1); the prevalence for psychological violence was 24.4% (95% CI: 22.9, 26.0), physical violence was 11.9% (95% CI: 10.8, 13.2) and sexual violence was 11.0% (95% CI: 9.9, 12.2). About 95% of acts of sexual violence were in the form of forced sex. In multivariable analysis, women’s education was associated with a decreased prevalence of all forms of IPVP. Previous experience of infant loss and not drinking alcohol were associated with lower prevalence of all IPVP types, except for the physical form. Working for cash and having medium household decision-making autonomy increased the prevalence of all forms of IPVP. Being older, living in an extended family, husband’s/partner’s habitual khat chewing and discordant pregnancy intentions increased the prevalence ratio (PR) of all forms of IPVP, except for sexual violence. Compared to being urban, being rural decreased the PR of sexual IPVP by 59% (adjusted prevalence ratio [APR]=0.41; 95% CI: 0.27, 0.60) and psychological IPVP by 32% (APR=0.68; 95% CI: 0.53, 0.87). Husband’s/partner’s support for antenatal care use decreased the PR of physical IPVP by 56% (APR=0.44; 95% CI: 0.25, 0.78).
Conclusion: Nearly one-third of pregnant women experienced IPVP. The great majority of them were subjected to forced sex by their husband/partner. This calls for urgent attention at all levels of societal organization, requiring stakeholders and policy makers to tackle the situation.

Keywords: intimate partner violence, pregnancy, women, abuse, Ethiopia

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]