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Domestic Violence and Women's Reproductive Health: A Review of the Literature

NCJ Number
Aggression and Violent Behavior Volume: 17 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2012 Pages: 514-518
Aygul Akyuz; Tulay Yavan; Gonul Sahiner; Ayse Kilic
Date Published
December 2012
5 pages
This literature review examines studies that investigate the effect of domestic violence on women's reproductive health.
This paper outlines the current literature on the effect of violence on women's reproductive health. Domestic violence is considered worldwide to be a social health problem which particularly affects women. It is generally categorized in five groups as physical, sexual, verbal, economic, and emotional violence. Domestic violence against women also includes sterilization and abortion by force, forcing women to use contraceptives against their will, or withholding contraceptives from those who wish to use them, genital mutilation, killing female children, and choosing gender in the prenatal period. A woman infected with a sexually transmitted disease by her partner or husband, and having a partner or husband having sexual intercourse with another woman also falls within the sexual violence parameters. Domestic violence has significant effects on both the general and reproductive health of the women, and may cause serious complications and may end with death. The studies show that women exposed to violence have worse health conditions and benefit less from health services than others. Therefore, health care personnel have important responsibilities to define domestic violence and intervene when necessary. These personnel must also be educated in matters of domestic violence, effective policy and protocols must be put in place. And, very importantly, health personnel must be supported by their managers when they try to deal with matters relating to domestic violence. (Published Abstract)