Intimate partner violence disclosure and associated factors among pregnant women attending a city hospital in South-Western Uganda: A cross-sectional study

Eve Katushabe, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda
John Baptist Asiimwe, Aga Khan University
Vincent Batwala, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda



Intimate partner violence (IPV) during pregnancy is a public health problem in Uganda that negatively impacts maternal and newborn health outcomes. However, IPVdisclosure and associated factors among pregnant women have remained poorly documented in southwestern Uganda. Therefore, this study determined IPV disclosure and associated factors among pregnant women attending a large City hospital.


In a cross-sectional design, 283 women attending Mbarara City Hospital Antenatal care (ANC) clinic was consecutively recruited into the study. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire. This was administered by the research team and the exercise took over a month. That is; from 7th January 2019 to 7th February 2019. The collected data was entered in STATA, and it was analyzed using chi-square, and univariate logistic regression statistics.


Out of the 283 pregnant women who participated in the study, 199 of them, representing seventy-point three percent (70.3%), had reportedly experienced at least one type of IPV during their current pregnancy. However, nearly fifty percent of those that experienced IPV (49.7%, n = 99) disclosed it to a third party, while the majority disclosed it to their biological family member (66.7%), followed by their friends (55.5%), members of their husband’s family (35.3%), neighbours (12.1%), healthcare providers (9.1%), religious leaders (8.1%), and the police (3.1%). Gravidity, OR = 1.9(95% CI: 1.07–3.31, p = 0.027), parity OR = 1.9(95% CI: 1.08–3.34, p = 0.026) and witnessed IPV OR: 5.4(95% CI: 1.93–14.96; p = 0.001) were significantly associated with IPV disclosure.


A large proportion of the pregnant women who experienced IPV did not disclose it to any third party. In addition to the above, pregnant women's characteristics seem to have a strong influence on IPV disclosure. Therefore, it is important for healthcare providers to routinely screen for IPV during antenatal care if a high IPV disclosure rate is to be achieved.