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Examining the Prevalence, Bidirectionality, and Co-Occurrence of Sexual Intimate Partner Violence Among Women During Pregnancy and Postpartum

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Objectives: This longitudinal study examined the prevalence of women's sexual intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration, the extent to which women experienced both sexual IPV victimization and perpetration, and the overlap between women's experiences of sexual IPV with psychological and physical IPV victimization and perpetration. Methods: Data were collected via self-report survey from 180 women during the first 18 weeks of pregnancy and 122 participants completed follow-up assessments at 6 weeks postpartum. Results: At both time points, the prevalence of sexual IPV victimization and perpetration were similar in this sample. Bidirectional sexual IPV was more common than sexual IPV victimization or perpetration only. Most participants who experienced sexual IPV victimization at baseline and follow-up also experienced psychological or physical IPV victimization. No participants at either time point reported sexual IPV perpetration only, those participants who perpetrated sexual IPV also perpetrated psychological or physical IPV. Conclusions: Future research should investigate women's sexual IPV victimization and perpetration as they relate to other areas of mental and physical health during this time period.
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Keywords: INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE; POSTPARTUM; PREGNANCY; SEXUAL COERCION; WOMEN'S USE OF AGGRESSION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2014

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