Women's experiences of domestic violence during pregnancy: listening to women's voices
Baird, K. (2010) Women's experiences of domestic violence during pregnancy: listening to women's voices. In: 3rd Biennial Conference Breathing New Life into Maternity Care, Alice Springs Australia, July 1 - 3 2010.
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Currently domestic violence continues to be one of the commonest crimes that occur in the United Kingdom, and past and current self-reporting figures from the British Crime Survey pay testimony to this fact (Coleman, 2007). Health professionals have a key role to play in the provision of information and support. Women would like their experiences of domestic violence to be believed by health care professionals and they often do not understand the failure of such professionals to ask about domestic violence. Methods Amalgamating two different philosophical methods is an alternative approach to traditional qualitative research in health. Although each method has its own identity, both phenomenology and feminism can be integrated in order to strengthen the philosophical foundation in an attempt to gain a better and deeper understanding of the human lived experience. The research employed a qualitative framework underpinned by feminist phenomenology values and philosophy. Data collection was used conducting using unstructured interviews in the safety of a woman’s refuge. Participants included women who were pregnant or had been pregnant in the last two years. The interviews focussed on the uniqueness of participants, valuing their own contribution appreciating their different experiences and interpretations of their individual social situations. In accordance with the principles, which reflect feminist and phenomenology, the world of the participants was revealed through their own description (Garko, 1999). Thematic analysis of the data was used to analyse the data. Results and Discussion The women welcomed the opportunity to ‘to talk about their own personal experiences’ of violence during their pregnancy, highlighting how the pregnancy perpetrated the violence. Whilst also describing what they would have found helpful from healthcare professionals during this time. References Coleman, K. Jansson, K. Kaiza, P. Reed, E (2007) Homicides, firearm offences and intimate violence 2005/2006. Supplementary Volume 1 to Crime in England and Wales 2005/2006. Home Office Statistical Bulletin. London: Home Office Garko, M.G. (1999) Existential Phenomenology and Feminist Research The Exploration and Exposition of Women’s Lived Experiences. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 23 167-175.