Identifying Prevalence and Risk Factors for Intimate Partner Violence in Pregnant Women in Rural Guatemala

Author(s): Anna E Lee, Claudia Rivera, Saskia Bunge Montes, Andrea Jimenez-Zambrano, Amy Nacht, Antonio Bolanos, Edwin Asturias, Stephen Berman, Gretchen Heinrichs, Margo S Harrison

Background: Victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy experience significant physical and mental health consequences and adverse birth outcomes. Our objective was to describe the prevalence of IPV, and risk factors associated with IPV in pregnant, rural Guatemalan women.

Methods: This retrospective cohort study was complet- ed using quality improvement data gathered during routine prenatal health visits to women of Trifinio, Guatemala, by the Madres Sanas maternal health program from 2018 through 2020. Chi-square and t-tests were used to determine if there were differences in characteristics between women who self-reported experiencing IPV and those who did not. If differences occurred (p < 0.2), those covariates were included in a multivariable logistic regression to determine sociodem- ographic risk associated with IPV.

Results: 583 women were enrolled with Madres Sanas between October 10, 2018, and October 1, 2020, and reported on IPV. Nineteen (3.26%) women reported experiencing IPV. The highest prevalence of IPV (7.6%) occurred in the sub-group of women who experienced food insecurity during the past year. The sole covariate of all sociodemographic and health characteristics which differed significantly between women who reported experiencing and not experiencing IPV was food insecurity. A regression model found that those who had worried about ability to buy food in the past year had a 3.19-fold increase in the odds that they experienced IPV (95% CI 1.072, 9.486, p-value 0.037).

Conclusion: Among this convenience sample of women, the prevalence of IPV was 3.26%. Food insecurity was associated with increased odds of experiencing IPV, highlighting an opportunity for interventions.

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