A survey released yesterday by the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the Family Violence Prevention Fund revealed that one in four women who agreed to answer questions after calling the hotline had experienced "reproductive coercion." The Family Violence Prevention Fund defines "reproductive coercion" as "threats or acts of violence against a reproductive health or reproductive decision making."
The women in the survey indicated that their partner had pressured them not to take birth control, sabotaged their method of contraception, or forced them to engage in unprotected sex. The study was based the responses of 3,169 women between the ages of 13 and 55 who called the hotline between August and September 2010.
Esta Soler, president of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, clarified, "Birth control sabotage is a serious form of control that leads to unintended pregnancy and sexual transmitted infections. While there is a cultural assumption that some women use pregnancy as a way to trap their partner in a relationship, this survey shows that men who are abusive will sabotage their partner's birth control and pressure them to become pregnant as a way to trap or control their partner."
Media Resources: Family Violence Prevention Fund 2/15/11; New York Times 2/15/11