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Study Finds that Many Victims of Partner Violence Experience Reproductive Coercion

Groundbreaking Study Finds that Many Victims of Partner Violence Experience Reproductive Coercion

SAN FRANCISCO - A new study sheds light on a little-recognized form of abuse in which men use coercion and birth control sabotage to cause their partners to become pregnant against their wills. The study, published in the January issue of Contraception, finds this kind of reproductive control to be especially common in relationships in which women experience physical or sexual partner violence.

“Pregnancy Coercion, Intimate Partner Violence and Unintended Pregnancy” is the first quantitative examination of the relationship between intimate partner violence, reproductive coercion and unintended pregnancy. It finds that young women and teenage girls often face efforts by male partners to sabotage their birth control or coerce or pressure them to become pregnant - including by damaging condoms and destroying contraceptives. These behaviors, defined as “reproductive coercion,” are often associated with physical or sexual violence. Conducted by researchers at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and the Harvard School of Pubic Health, the study also finds that among women who experienced both reproductive coercion and partner violence, the risk of unintended pregnancy doubled.

From August 2008 to March 2009, researchers worked at five reproductive health clinics in Northern California, querying some 1,300 English- and Spanish-speaking 16- to 29-year-old women who agreed to respond to a survey about their experiences. They were asked about birth-control sabotage, pregnancy coercion and intimate partner violence.  Approximately one in five young women said they experienced pregnancy coercion and 15 percent said they experienced birth control sabotage.  Fifty-three percent of respondents said they had experienced physical or sexual violence from an intimate partner.  Thirty-five percent of the women who reported partner violence also reported either pregnancy coercion or birth control sabotage.

arvan's picture

Vulnerable girls risk sexual exploitation on Juba's streets

JUBA, 28 January 2010 (PlusNews) - In a large market in Juba, the regional capital of Southern Sudan, young women spend long afternoons lounging on beds in sweltering iron sheet rooms, waiting for men.

One girl, no more than 17, wearing a tight tee-shirt with the words "I love beer" emblazoned on it, points us in the direction of a different set of rooms, with the really young girls.

IRIN has come to the market with Cathy Groenendijk, director of a small local NGO, Confident Children Out of Conflict (CCC), which for the past two-and-a-half years has run a drop-in centre for children from desperately poor homes in Juba. Today, she is searching for 14-year-old Alice*, one of her protégés who recently rang her to say she had found accommodation in an area known to house mainly sex workers.

"I can't be angry with her, I know where her family lives - right on the street; I can't judge her for wanting something better for herself, and her body is all she has to bargain with," she said.

arvan's picture

Gung-ho grannies learn self-defence

NAIROBI, 27 January 2010 (PlusNews) - In a community hall in Korogocho, a slum in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, an instructor takes his students through their paces, but unlike the usual fitness fanatics, today's class is a group of elderly women learning self-defence techniques.

I'm Worth Defending (IWD), which conducts the training, teaches self-defence to school-children, young men and women, and most recently, to elderly women in Korogocho and other Nairobi slums.

Frida Wambui*, 60, is one. Two years ago, three drunken young men broke into her home in the middle of the night and brutally raped her.

"They knew I lived alone... they broke [down] the door and came in and covered my eyes with a blanket, then they raped me... and left me there just lying on the floor," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "I can't believe people young enough to be my grandchildren could do that to me.

arvan's picture

Together for Transformation: A Call to Men and Boys

Gender lies at the root of war and peace and it is increasingly being recognized that issues of masculinities need to be addressed in the field of peacebuilding and active nonviolence.  WPP is convinced that in order to transform cultures of war and violence, women peace activists need to work together with male allies on these issues. In light of this analysis, WPP has organized the Training of Trainers Program “Overcoming Violence - Exploring Masculinities, Violence and Peace”.

The first part of the ToT took place from November 30 till December 12, 2009 in The Netherlands, and brought together 19 pioneering activist men, from 17 different countries.

The training focused on gender-sensitive active non-violence, the theory of masculinities and its relation to violence, and participatory and gender-sensitive facilitation.

The rich exchange of strategies and cultural practices related to peacebuilding, active nonviolence and issues related to masculinities and femininities has been an empowering experience for all.  During 2010, the WPP will be intensively working together with the trainees while they are preparing their community projects and follow-up trainings in their home context.  All these activities include working together with female allies for gender-sensitive active nonviolent peacebuilding.  Mid – 2010, the 19 trainees will participate in a second Training of Trainers as to exchange knowledge and experiences, and consolidate the learning into a training manual.

A first powerful outcome of the training is a statement produced by the ToT trainees to affirm their commitment to gender-sensitive peacebuilding:

arvan's picture

Shame: A film about 'honor killing' (aka ignorant murder)

5000 women yearly are still getting killed for ‘honor’.

Shame (2005)

Director: Sharjil Baloch

Genre: Documentary

"Shame" is part of the honor killing awareness-raising campaign in rural Sindh and southern Punjab.  The directors take to the road, documenting shocking interviews that uncover a deep-rooted gender bias in rural Pakistan as well as the first ever footage of a karion jo qabristan, an unmarked graveyard where victims of honor killing are buried without any ritual. An important and timely film. 

LaPrincipessa's picture

Congressional Hearing Held on Rape Kit Backlog

Millions of federal dollars and years of prevention efforts are under scrutiny this week as a congressional hearing is underway to address the massive misuse and failure of many major U.S. cities to address the backlog of rape kits. Since 2004, cities such as Los Angeles and Detroit have received over 20 millions dollars and yet have hundreds of thousands of rape kits sitting in storage. These rape kits and the funds secured through the Debbie Smith Act of 2004 are vital to aid in rape prevention and specifically the health/legal support of rape victims.

A rape kit is absolutely vital to victims and their families in catching or convicting their attacker. Without DNA evidence, a rape trial(if the victim is so lucky to get their attacker identified and into a court room) becomes a war of words; he said, she said. What is more commonplace however is the victim's case is dead once she/he leaves the hospital or police station. It has been reported that across the country rape victim's rape kits along with their initial complaint, are often not dealt with in accordance to the law, as officers and medical professionals are deciding the validity of her/his complaint on the spot.


LaPrincipessa's picture

CNN Reports: Colleges Failing Women, 1 in 5 Still Rape Victims

From CNN.com

One in five college women will be raped, or experience an attempted rape, before graduation. Less than 5 percent will report these crimes to officials on or off campus, and, when they do, there's a good chance the system will let them down.

These shocking statistics were first issued nine years ago in a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice. Federal laws are in place to require schools to act on these allegations and look out for the rights of victims.

But a recently released investigative journalism series indicates that when it comes to dealing with sexual assaults, many higher-education institutions aren't making the grade. The investigation was done by the Center for Public Integrity, a Washington-based nonprofit that says it seeks to make institutions more transparent and accountable.

Christina Engela's picture

A Matter Of Perpective

Can anyone give me a satisfactory explanation why the media calls a man convicted of raping a 4 year old girl a "child rapist" - and a man convicted of raping a 4 year old boy gets labelled a "pedophile", when pedophilia knows no gender, whether referring to either victim or perpetrator.  Is this not either journalistic ignorance - or a blatant attempt to reinforce the right wing image of gay people as "pedophiles"?

Just an observation - whenever a man is referred to as having molested male children he is most often referred to as "convicted pedophile Joe Soap" and not "convicted child rapist Joe Soap" blah, blah fishpaste.  It reinforces the right wing lies and propaganda that gay people are a threat to children.

Just one of the many ways that bias is maintained without us even picking up on it.
Olga Wolstenholme's picture

About: How Do You Fuck a Fat Woman? by Kate Harding

Kate Harding of Shapely Prose wrote an article for the book Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape called How Do You Fuck a Fat Woman? I highly recommend this book, not only does it address topics that everyone should be aware of, but it also does so in a way that is somehow uplifting as opposed to depressing; a feeling that is much too common when reading about rape, but for the sake of this post I will address Kate Harding’s particular contribution.

The article begins:

"You should consider yourself lucky that some man finds a hideous toll like yourself rape-able."

THAT’S AN ACTUAL COMMENT left on the blog of a friend of mine, in response to a post she wrote about being raped and nearly killed. Every feminist blogger with more than four readers has dealt with comments along these lines. There are certain people who feel it’s their sacred duty to inform is, again and again, that rape is a compliment. (Or more precisely, “Rape is a compliment, you stupid whore.”)

arvan's picture

“The new war is rape”

MONROVIA, 19 November 2009 (IRIN) - In Liberia rape survivors are increasingly speaking up and seeking help as awareness of rights increases, but social taboos persist and seeking justice does not always mean that justice is served.

Sexual violence consistently comes first or second (after armed robbery) in monthly police crime listings in the capital Monrovia.  The majority of rape victims are children, according to treatment centre statistics.  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Monrovia reports their youngest survivor at 21 months old.

“The civil war is over,” said Monrovia resident Tupee Kiadi.  “But the new war is rape, especially targeting teenagers and babies.  During the war we had peacekeepers to prevent further violence…but women do not have peacekeepers to stop rape.”

During the war women and girls were subjected to rape (commonly gang rape) and sexual slavery, many becoming pregnant from rape.  Since peace was sealed in 2003, sex crimes – and impunity – have persisted throughout the country.

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