Violence before pregnancy and the risk of violence during pregnancy

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To investigate the relationships among different forms of violence before and during pregnancy.

Material and methods:

An anonymous questionnaire (adapted NorAQ) was given to 1269 women after childbirth.


The response rate was 80% (n=1018). Different forms of violence were experienced by 46.9% of the women; 9.2% reported violence in pregnancy. Suffering from the consequences of violence was reported by 43.8% of the women; sexual (76.6%) and psychological (54.1%) ranked the highest. Past experience of any form of violence increased the risk of violence in pregnancy, violences experienced in adulthood even more than that in childhood [odds ratio (OR) 4.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.7-6.5 vs. OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-2.9]. The onset of violence during pregnancy is rare. Violence was most frequently exerted by the intimate partner.


Healthcare systems have access to most women of reproductive age, thus they have the unique opportunity to identify and adequately manage violence against women and its consequences.

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