Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 700–712

Abuse from In-Laws during Pregnancy and Post-Partum: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings from Low-income Mothers of Infants in Mumbai, India

Authors

    • Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesBoston University School of Public Health
    • Department of Medicine, Section of General Internal MedicineBoston University School of Medicine
  • Shagun Sabarwal
    • Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public Health
  • Michele R. Decker
    • Department of Population, Family and Reproductive HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Saritha Nair
    • National Institute for Research in Reproductive HealthIndian Council of Medical Research
  • Meghna Jethva
    • National Institute for Research in Reproductive HealthIndian Council of Medical Research
  • Suneeta Krishnan
    • Women’s Global Health Imperative, RTI International
    • Division of EpidemiologyUniversity of California
    • Epidemiology & Statistics UnitSt. John’s Research Institute
  • Balaiah Donta
    • National Institute for Research in Reproductive HealthIndian Council of Medical Research
  • Niranjan Saggurti
    • Population Council
  • Jay G. Silverman
    • Department of Society, Human Development and HealthHarvard School of Public Health
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10995-010-0651-2

Cite this article as:
Raj, A., Sabarwal, S., Decker, M.R. et al. Matern Child Health J (2011) 15: 700. doi:10.1007/s10995-010-0651-2

Abstract

To examine experiences of perinatal (in pregnancy or post-partum) abuse from in-laws and to assess associations between such experiences and perinatal intimate partner violence (IPV) from husbands, as reported by Indian women residing in low-income communities in Mumbai. The present study includes both qualitative and quantitative research conducted across two phases of study. The qualitative phase involved face-to-face, semi-structured in-depth interviews (n = 32) with women seeking health care for their infants (6 months or younger) and self-reporting emotional or physical abuse from their husband. The quantitative arm involved survey data collection (n = 1,038) from mothers seeking immunization for their infants 6 months or younger at three large Urban Health Centers in Mumbai. Results of the qualitative study documented the occurrence of both non-physical and physical abuse from in-laws during pregnancy and post-partum. Non-physical forms of abuse included forced heavy domestic labor, food denial and efforts toward prevention of medical care acquisition. Quantitative results demonstrated that 26.3% of the sample reported perinatal abuse (non-physical and physical) from in-laws and that women experiencing perinatal sexual or physical IPV from husbands were significantly more likely to report perinatal abuse from in-laws (AOR = 5.33, 95% CI = 3.93–7.23). Perinatal abuse from in-laws is not uncommon among women in India and may be compromising maternal and child health in this context; such abuse is also linked to perinatal violence from husbands. Programs and interventions that screen and address IPV in pregnant and post-partum populations in India should be developed to include consideration of in-laws.

Keywords

Intimate partner violenceIn-law abuseIndiaPregnancy and postpartum

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010