Reproductive coercion as a form of family violence against immigrant and refugee women in Australia

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Reproductive coercion (RC), generally considered a form of intimate partner violence (IPV), refers to perpetrator behaviours and actions that are intended to interfere with and control the autonomous decision-making of a person regarding their reproductive health. To date there are few studies that document RC as experienced by immigrant and refugee women. In this article, we explore cases of RC as described by women who were part of a larger qualitative study investigating violence against immigrant and refugee women in southern Australia. The study aimed to identify the types of RC detailed in immigrant and refugee women's narratives, and to illustrate the contexts in which these experiences occurred. Analysis followed Baxter and Jack's (2008) case study methodology; whereby particular "cases" are used to describe a phenomenon in context. Thirteen women from seven countries described experiences that fit definitions of RC. The cases describe various types of RC including violence during pregnancy with the intent of causing miscarriage, forced abortion, contraception sabotage and forced pregnancy. As well as intimate partners, some women described multiple perpetrators being complicit in their experience of RC, especially in regard to controlling women's access to, and interactions with health services. More information is needed about immigrant and refugee women's experiences of RC, and how vulnerability to multi-perpetrator violence affects health service access. In particular knowledge about how multi-perpetrator RC can affect consent processes for women who already face barriers to health care requires attention. Further research is required to address knowledge gaps about appropriate prevention and advocacy work about RC in refugee and migrant communities, and what training is needed for professionals in the family violence sector, women's health services, women's organisations, multicultural and ethno-specific services.
This is an openaccess article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Pregnancy, Female, Humans, Coercion, Refugees, Domestic Violence, Emigrants and Immigrants, Intimate Partner Violence, Australia
Suha M, Murray L, Warr D, Chen J, Block K, Murdolo A, Quiazon R, Davis E, Vaughan C. (2022). Reproductive coercion as a form of family violence against immigrant and refugee women in Australia.. PLoS One. 17. 11. (pp. e0275809-).