Reproductive coercion affects 50% of women under 45, survey finds


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Reproductive coercion – a rarely talked about form of abuse – affects 50% of women under 45, according to a British survey. The type of abuse itself refers to when someone uses pregnancy, contraception, and sex to control another person.

This coercion can involve forcing someone to have an abortion, destroying or hiding contraceptives, and pressuring someone not to use contraception.

the BBCon a mission to find out how common reproductive coercion is, commissioned a survey of 1,000 British women aged 18-44 and found that half said they had experienced at least one form of abuse .

Conducted by Savanta ComRes, the research found that a third of women surveyed said they had been pressured, while a fifth said they had been forced to have sex without contraception.

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Of the women who took part in the survey, issues such as someone interfering with their contraception – whether by hiding it or damaging it – as well as removing a condom when having sex without consent, were raised.

This latter type of reproductive coercion is known as ‘stealth’ and is classified as rape under UK law.

A woman told the News Radio 1 and File on four“I think when you’re in that situation, you don’t necessarily identify as a victim, you sort of ignore it. It becomes so normalized that people don’t take it seriously.

Another said: ‘Every time I said I wanted to go to work or mentioned getting a job I was not allowed to take my pill.

Winnie Porter, a midwife at a south London health clinic, said: “15% of women in our survey told us they had been pressured to end a pregnancy when they did not want to. ”

Elsewhere in the interview, she explained that reproductive coercion is “a bit of a blind spot” among health services.

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Currently, neither the NHS nor the police record data on reproductive coercion. Moreover, it is a form of abuse that a rare number of medical professionals wonder about.

In 2015, it was declared that a new offense of coercive or controlling behavior means that those who engage in such behavior, emotionally, psychologically or physically, can face a prison sentence of up to five years.

In addition to the Reproductive Coercion Act, in January it was reported that “virginity repair,” also known as “husband stitch,” a surgery to “restore virginity” and reconstruct the hymen, was to be criminalized. after an amendment to the Health and Care Bill. It was pointed out that this would be the case whether consent had been given or not.

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