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Pink or Blue...Black and Blue? Examining Pregnancy as a Predictor of Intimate Partner Violence and Femicide

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 15 Issue: 11 Dated: November 2009 Pages: 1273-1293
Rae Taylor; Erin L. Nabors
Date Published
November 2009
21 pages
This study explored the effect of pregnancy on women's risk of intimate partner violence (IPV) victimization.
This study examined the effect of pregnancy on three statuses of IPV: no abuse, nonlethal abuse, and lethal abuse (femicide). Although the literature is inconsistent as to whether pregnancy heightens risk for IPV, it is generally agreed that violence commonly occurs during pregnancy, often with catastrophic consequences for mother and child. Lower education and income levels are commonly reported as heightened risks in IPV studies, as are common-law relationships and the presence of stepchildren. Data for the study were taken from the Chicago Women's Health Risk Study (CWHRS) 1995-1998. To compare three distinct categories for the study - no abuse, non-lethal abuse, and lethal abuse, the researchers merged two CWHRS samples into one dataset. Results of the analysis indicate that pregnancy may decrease IPV during and up to 1 year after the pregnancy. Pregnancy does not, however, predict nonlethal versus lethal levels of IPV. The sole predictor of all categories of abuse was incompatibility in educational attainment between the respondent and her partner. Findings also suggest that employed women and married women were less likely to be abused. Tables, notes, and references