Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Learn More About Reproductive Coercion

Posted October 17th, 2016 by .

Categories: Domestic Violence.

reproductive-coercion-anthony-carboneWhen we think about domestic violence, usually what comes to mind is physical violence. But unfortunately, there are more subtle forms of domestic violence that may be happening in your relationship that you may not be aware of.

Take, for instance, a recent story that popped up on Reddit. A young woman told the community that her husband wants to try for a baby even though she stated that she wasn’t ready. Although they had previously discussed having a child at this time of their lives, she felt they weren’t financially stable yet. Since having the conversation with her husband, she said that he’s been trying to impregnate her, using tactics such as increased sexual relations that have become more forceful than before.

What this woman is discussing is called “reproductive coercion.” This is where one partner is pressuring the other to become pregnant in an effort to control that partner. Surprisingly, this is an occurrence that happens often. A study from Michigan State University has found that women of reproductive age are at a highest risk of intimate partner violence and often experience unintended pregnancies. The authors of the study claim that when a male partner interferes with a women’s birth control, it’s just another form of controlling them.

How is this a form of domestic violence? Because like hitting someone or using emotional guilt against your partner, it’s all about control.  Approximately 25 percent of women who report being abused by their partners also report being forced and pressured into becoming pregnant. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, some examples of reproductive coercion are:

  • Pressure into getting pregnant, such as threatening to hurt a woman if she refuses to become pregnant
  • Sabotaging the woman’s use of contraception, causing her to become pregnant against her will
  • Pressuring or coercing a woman to either continue or end her pregnancy against her will

If this sounds all too familiar, there is help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.

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