Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 441–447 | Cite as

Prevalence and Associated Factors of Intimate Partner Violence Among Pregnant Women Attending Kisumu District Hospital, Kenya

  • Lyndah A. Makayoto
  • Jared Omolo
  • Abel M. Kamweya
  • Valarie S. Harder
  • Joseph Mutai


To determine prevalence and factors associated with intimate partner violence (IPV) among pregnant women seeking antenatal care. This was a cross-sectional study conducted at Kisumu District Hospital, Kenya amongst randomly selected pregnant women. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Participants self-reported about their own IPV experience (lifetime, 12 months prior to and during index pregnancy) and associated risk factors. Data were analyzed using Epi-info. The mean age of the 300 participants was 23.7 years. One hundred and ten (37 %) of them experienced at least one form of IPV during pregnancy. Psychological violence was the most common (29 %), followed by sexual (12 %), and then physical (10 %). Women who experienced IPV during pregnancy were more likely to have witnessed maternal abuse in childhood (aOR 2.27, 95 % CI = 1.05–4.89), been in a polygamous union (aOR 2.48, 95 % CI = 1.06–5.8), been multiparous (aOR 1.94, 95 % CI = 1.01–3.32) or had a partner who drank alcohol (aOR 2.32, 95 % CI = 1.21–4.45). Having a partner who attained tertiary education was protective against IPV (aOR 0.37, 95 % CI = 0.16–0.83). We found no association between HIV status and IPV. IPV is common among women seeking antenatal care at Kisumu District Hospital. Health care providers should be alerted to the possibility of IPV during pregnancy in women who witnessed maternal abuse in childhood, are multiparous, polygamous, have a partner who drinks alcohol or has low level education. Screening for IPV, support and referral is urgently needed to help reduce the burden experienced by pregnant women and their unborn babies.


Intimate partner violence Pregnancy Kenya 



We would like to thank the following for their support and contributions: The antenatal clinic staff at Kisumu District Hospital and clients who sought antennal care during the study period, Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Kenya (FELTP-K) faculty and administration, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Ministries of Public Health and Sanitation and Medical Services- Kenya and finally the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) for their financial contribution.

Conflict of interest

The authors state that they have no conflicts of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lyndah A. Makayoto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jared Omolo
    • 1
  • Abel M. Kamweya
    • 2
  • Valarie S. Harder
    • 4
  • Joseph Mutai
    • 3
  1. 1.Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training ProgramNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and TechnologyNairobiKenya
  3. 3.Kenya Medical Research InstituteNairobiKenya
  4. 4.University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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