Am J Perinatol 2006; 23(2): 093-104
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-931802
Copyright © 2006 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Domestic Violence during Pregnancy in Turkey and Responsibility of Prenatal Healthcare Providers

Emre Yanikkerem1 , Gülşah Karadaş2 , Betül Adıgüzel3 , Ümran Sevil4
  • 1Midwifery Department, Celal Bayar University, Manisa School of Health, Manisa, Turkey
  • 2Pediatric Department, Ege University Medical Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
  • 3Obstetric Department, Private Ege Health Hospital, Izmir, Turkey
  • 4Gynecology and Obstetrics Nursing Department, University of Ege, Izmir, Turkey
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
10 February 2006 (online)


The purpose of this study was to estimate prevalence and risk groups of domestic violence during pregnancy in Manisa, Turkey, and to determine antenatal complications or health problems and health service use. This study was a population-based, cross-sectional, and household survey. The study universe included two primary health units situated in two different socioeconomic areas (rural and urban) in the city of Manisa, Turkey, from January to June 2004; the homes of 246 women were visited and the study sample included 217 women. A questionnaire was used that comprised sociodemographic and reproductive characteristics, and the Domestic Violence Against Women Determination Scale, developed by Yanikkerem in 2002 to measure the frequencies of type and severity of violence. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 10.0 for Windows) was used to analyze the data. Student t test and Mann-Whitney U test were used to evaluate data. Results indicated that 9.7% of women were beaten by their partner during the pregnancy (17.3% in the rural area and 2.7% in the urban area) and 14.3% of women were beaten before pregnancy. A total of 10.6% of women said they had been slapped, 9.1% reported an object was thrown at them by their partner, and 6.5% admitted to having been kicked during pregnancy. A total of 36.4% of women reported experiencing forced sexual activity. Abused pregnant women were less educated, had lower income, were unmarried, were multiparous, had more children, had a longer duration of marriage, lived rural areas, were more likely to have unplanned pregnancies, had miscarriage, had an interpregnancy interval of 2 years or less, smoked more cigarettes, did not visit a health institution for control during pregnancy and did not know the sex or knew the fetus was female when compared with nonabused women. Abused women who live with various problems during pregnancy and are victims of violence tend to feel isolated, insecure, and depressed. Our results indicate that most pregnant women do not report that their prenatal care providers discussed violence with them. Healthcare provides have an important role in this issue. Antenatal care protocols should be modified to address domestic violence and contributing factors during pregnancy so that identified women can be counseled appropriately and attempts can be made to intervene to prevent further episodes of domestic violence in primary care settings.


Emre YanikkeremM.Sc. 

Celal Bayar Universitesi, Manisa Sağlık Yüksekokulu İstasyon Mevki

45010 Manisa, Turkey