Prevalence, Patterns, and Determinants of Intimate Partner Violence Experienced by Women Who Are Pregnant in Sanma Province, Vanuatu

Stephanie McKelvie, Basil Leodoro, Thomas Sala, Thach Tran, Jane Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Violence perpetrated by an intimate partner (IPV) is an important human rights and public health problem worldwide and when experienced during pregnancy is of special concern due to the harmful impact on maternal and child health. Women living in Vanuatu, and especially Sanma Province, experience high rates of IPV, however little is known about their experiences of violence when pregnant. The aim was to describe the prevalence, patterns and determinants of IPV among women who are pregnant in Sanma Province, Vanuatu. A cross-sectional survey was used. All healthy adult women attending Northern Provincial Hospital antenatal clinic from late May to late July 2019 were eligible and invited to participate. Psychological, physical and sexual IPV and controlling behaviours were assessed with a modified version of the World Health Organization Violence Against Women Instrument administered as an individual interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse prevalence and patterns of IPV and logistic regression models to identify determinants. Of 214 women who expressed interest in participating, 192 women contributed data. Overall 64.2% of women had experienced any IPV during their lifetime and 42.2% had experienced IPV during their current pregnancy. Experience of co-occurrence of violence types was common, and it was more common for IPV to continue than to cease during pregnancy. Factors which increased likelihood of experiencing IPV included being employed, occupying a lower socioeconomic position, having a partner who was unemployed or used alcohol or illicit substances at least once a week. IPV, in all its forms, is a common problem faced by women who are pregnant and living in Vanuatu.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Nov 2020


  • battered women
  • cultural contexts
  • domestic violence
  • predicting domestic violence

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