5th of October at 08:30
Title: Since early 2020, there has been growing concern about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family, domestic and sexual violence (FDSV). Discuss how COVID – 19 impacted maternity care relevant to domestic, family and sexual violence.
The candidate will defend her thesis on the 5th of October at 09:45
- First opponent: Professor Kathleen Baird, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
- Second opponent: Associate Professor Cecilie Hagemann, NTNU
- Leader of the committee: Associate Professor Heidi Jerpseth, OsloMet
Leader of the public defence
Head of department Professor Marit Kirkevold
- Professor Lena Henriksen, OsloMet
- Professor Mirjam Lukasse, OsloMet
- Professor Milada Cvansarova Småstuen, OsloMet
Intimate partner violence during pregnancy is a violation of human rights and a global health concern with damaging consequences for women and their babies. The evidence about how to assess and intervene to identify, reduce, and prevent intimate partner violence during the pregnancy is inconclusive. Little is known about the use of digital tools in the assessment of violence and as an intervention during pregnancy. Few Norwegian studies addressing intimate partner violence involve women with an immigrant background.
The aims of the Safe Pregnancy study were to develop a culturally sensitive tablet intervention, to investigate possible associations between intimate partner violence and pregnancy intendedness and examine the effect of the tablet intervention on Norwegian, Pakistani, and Somali pregnant women’s quality of life, the use of safety behaviours and the prevention of intimate partner violence.
Methods and Materials
A qualitative user involvement study included in-depth interviews with Norwegian, Pakistani, and Somali women and focus group interviews with professionals working at crisis shelters. An RCT (n=317) and a cross-sectional study (n=1788) used data from questionnaires from the Safe Pregnancy study.
The user involvement study showed that women were in favour of disclosing experiences of intimate partner violence on a tablet. They described various actions about how to address barriers for disclosure, such as safeguarding anonymity and creating a trustful relationship with the midwife. The Safe Pregnancy intervention did not detect a statistically significant difference between the intervention and control groups in quality of life, use of safety behaviours or exposure to violence at follow-up. Women who reported that their pregnancy was unintended were significantly more likely to have experienced some form of lifetime abuse compared to women who intended the pregnancy.
The findings from the Safe Pregnancy study reveal the need for further research in developing effective Health interventions to prevent IPV among pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence, particularly culturally sensitive interventions for nonethnic Norwegian women. The intervention should be targeted towards women who are experiencing recent and ongoing violence during the pregnancy. Our instrument has the potential to facilitate motivation for women experiencing intimate partner violence to seek help and support from the midwife. The instrument may also generate a query for midwives to ask direct questions about pregnant women’s experiences of intimate partner violence.