Domestic Violence, Marital Control, and Family Planning, Maternal, and Birth Outcomes in Timor-Leste

Publication Date:

Jun 2015

Citation:

Meiksin R, Meekers D, Thompson S, Hagopian A, Mercer MA. (2015). Domestic Violence, Marital Control, and Family Planning, Maternal, and Birth Outcomes in Timor-Leste. Matern Child Health J. 19(6), 1338-47. doi: 10.1007/s10995-014-1638-1

 

Abstract

Patriarchal traditions and a history of armed conflict in Timor-Leste provide a context that facilitates violence against women. More than a third of ever-married Timorese women report physical and/or sexual domestic violence (DV) perpetrated by their most recent partner. DV violates women’s rights and may threaten their reproductive health. Marital control may also limit women’s reproductive control and healthcare access. Our study investigated relationships between DV and marital control and subsequent family planning, maternal healthcare, and birth outcomes in Timor-Leste. Using logistic regression, we examined 2009-2010 Demographic and Health Survey data from a nationally representative sample of 2,951 women in Timor-Leste. We controlled for age, education, and wealth. We limited our analyses of pregnancy- and birth-related outcomes to those from the 6 months preceding the survey. Rural women with controlling husbands were less likely than other rural women to have an unmet need for family planning (Adj. OR 0.6; 95 % CI 0.4-0.9). Rural women who experienced DV were more likely than other rural women to have an unplanned pregnancy (Adj. OR 2.6; 95 % CI 1.4-4.8), fewer than four antenatal visits (Adj. OR 2.3; 95 % CI 1.1-4.9), or a baby born smaller than average (Adj. OR 3.1; 95 % CI 1.4-6.7). DV and marital control were not associated with the tested outcomes among urban women. Given high rates of DV internationally, our findings have important implications. Preventing DV may benefit both women and future generations. Furthermore, rural women who experience DV may benefit from targeted interventions that mediate associated risks of negative family planning, maternal healthcare, and birth outcomes.

Read the Full Article

 

Stand with HAI

Stand with HAI

Donate

When you support Health Alliance International, you take a stand for a more equitable and respectful model of global health. Your donation not only helps us expand our reach, it is an investment in our shared values of health equity and solidarity. 

Join the Alliance

Our alliance is made up of supporters, partners, staff, and volunteers who share our commitment to universal access to quality health care. Just like a health system, every person plays a role in keeping us working toward this ultimate goal. Will you join us? 

Get Engaged

The kind of change we seek requires sustained action.  Whether you want to engage in HAI's advocacy work or help spread HAI's mission and model, we rely on our friends and supporters to stand beside us when we stand up for equity in global health.

Didn't find what you were looking for?

Didn't find what you were looking for?