196915 "I'd probabaly be with him if I didn't have kids": Violence during pregnancy, what helps?

Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:06 AM

Shreya Bhandari, MSW , Department of Social Work, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Linda Bullock, PhD, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Phyllis Sharps, PhD, RN, FAAN , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Intimate partner violence (IPV) among rural, low-income, pregnant women is of serious concern given its prevalence and adverse mental and physical health consequences (Bailey & Daugherty, 2007; Logan, Walker, Cole, Ratliff, & Leukefeld, 2003). Lack of accessibility to resources and services in rural areas exacerbates their situations (Websdale, 1995). Previous research using the IPV Strategies Index (Goodman, Dutton, Weinfurt, & Cook, 2003), has found that abused women use variety of active help seeking for safety during abuse. Thirty-two interviews were conducted with 20 women enrolled in a multi-site, mixed-method, five-year, randomized controlled trial Domestic Violence Home Visitation Program (DOVE). DOVE is a research-based intervention to reduce family violence through prenatal home visits. The motivator to help all the women cope with IPV was the urge to protect the unborn fetus. Consequently, most women left their abusers during pregnancy (n= 17). Protecting the unborn fetus also governed their decisions regarding the status of having an intimate relationship in their lives. Some women felt lonely and sought a non-abusive companion, an ex-partner (n=4), or a new partner (n=2), while others yearned for a father-figure for their children. Regardless of one's intimate partner status, participants viewed themselves as the sole providers for their children and, thus, realized that they would have to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Additionally, women utilized the strategies of safety planning, resisting, pacifying, and accessing formal and informal support networks at the time of the abuse in order to protect themselves, their children, and their unborn babies.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the challenges that pregnant, low-income, abused, women in rural areas are faced with 2. Discuss how past research can be integrated with the findings from this current study to construct a theory on coping for rural, pregnant women facing intimate partner violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on the project whose results are being shared
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.