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Journal Article

Citation

Kothari CL, Cerulli C, Marcus S, Rhodes KV. J. Womens Health (Larchmont) 2009; 18(10): 1639-1646.

Affiliation

1 Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies , Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2009, Mary Ann Liebert Publishers)

DOI

10.1089/jwh.2008.1310

PMID

19788343

PMCID

PMC2864463

Abstract

Background: Although there has been much research examining the relationship between pregnancy and abuse, this study is one of the few to investigate whether perinatal status (defined as pregnancy or early postpartum) impacts the help seeking of abused women. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 3 years of prosecutor administrative records, police incident reports, and hospital medical records for a countywide population of adult females (n = 964) assaulted by an intimate partner in 2000. Perinatal and nonperinatal victims were compared using chi-square and a series of logistic regression models, controlling for all demographic and incident-related factors. Results: Compared with women across the county, abused women were twice as likely to become pregnant (p < 0.001). Perinatal status did not change the rate of help seeking from police (OR 1.1, p = 0.67) or emergency departments (ED) (OR 1.1, p = 0.94), but it did change the pattern of help seeking with higher ED use in the 6 months prior to the assault (p < 0.01) and a trend toward seeking help with fewer injuries (p = 0.10). Conclusions: Abused women are more likely to become pregnant. Perinatal status impacts how victims seek help from criminal justice agencies and EDs.


Language: en

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