This article investigates the experiences of pregnant women in rural Bangladesh that are exposed to lifetime domestic violence (DV). According to the study, the research on this subject is scarce, and the connection between the mental health of pregnant women and domestic violence is rarely discussed. Researchers try to find a correlation between the type of domestic violence and its effect on women’s mental health. Moreover, the authors aim to find a connection between domestic violence and cortisol levels in pregnant women. According to Ziaei, Frith, Ekström, and Naved (2016), domestic violence can be divided into several types, including “physical, sexual, emotional domestic violence and controlling behavior” (par. 2). Therefore, the authors explore which kind of violence is the most damaging to pregnant women’s health.
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The article uses quantitative methods to determine the rates of domestic violence, levels of emotional distress, and amounts of salivary cortisol in pregnant women. Researchers come to some conclusions. First of all, the study reveals that emotional abuse along with controlling behavior can be considered the most damaging type of domestic violence. For example, the outcome of emotional abuse is represented by high levels of distress in the highest proportion of women that reported having the mentioned experience. Moreover, severe physical abuse is also linked to emotional distress. However, the authors do not establish any connections between domestic violence and levels of salivary cortisol in pregnant women. On the other hand, the correlation between different types of violence and mental health is visible. Moreover, the aspect of the duration of domestic violence is also influential. Thus, the authors conclude that women, who experienced lifelong abuse, are more susceptible to emotional distress. Furthermore, emotional abuse seems to be the type of domestic violence that affects women the most.
Ziaei, S., Frith, A. L., Ekström, E. C., & Naved, R. T. (2016). Experiencing lifetime domestic violence: Associations with mental health and stress among pregnant women in rural Bangladesh: The MINIMat randomized trial. PLoS One, 11(12), e0168103.