NCK's first PhD, midwife Kristina Stenson, defended her dissertation Men's Violence Against Women - a Challenge in Antenatal Care in 2004.
The dissertation explores experiences of violence amongst pregnant women and their attitudes towards being questioned about violence at the antenatal clinic. It also evaluates midwives' experiences of asking pregnant women about violence.
All women who were registered at antenatal clinics in Uppsala during a 6 month period were questioned. 1.3 per cent of these women reported that they had been subjected to violence by their partner during pregnancy. Violence can therefore be seen as a risk factor during pregnancy, comparable with diabetes or pre-eclampsia.
Important to ask questions
80 per cent of the women found it acceptable to be asked about violence at the antenatal clinic. Midwives thought it was important to ask questions about violence, but felt inhibited by factors such as the sensitivity of the topic and/or presence of the partner.