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What is Coercive Reproduction? | Partner Rape and Pregnancy | Some Links | Sources

"IPSV"="Intimate Partner Sexual Violence"

Coerced pregnancy in abusive relationships and as a result of partner rape is a part of the experience of many women. It may be that you are dealing with this now, or have done so in the past. If so, this page may be useful for you.

The risk of unintentional or unwanted pregnancy increases significantly for adolescent girls and women in violent relationships. It is also associated with greater health risks.1 Coercive Reproduction can be caused by:

  • Contraception sabotage (i.e. refusal to wear a condom),
  • Stopping you from using contraception
  • Threatening to leave you if you don't get pregnant
  • Your fear of violence if you don't get pregnant, if you resist his pressure to become pregnant, ask him to use a condom or insist on using birth control yourself
  • Rape
Just as partner rape is common, so too, is pregnancy following it.2 Pregnancy may be incidental to the rape, or your ex/partner may have raped you with the intention of deliberately inpregnating you, for reasons among others like causing you pain, or forcing you to stay in the relationship or return to him 3. Rape-related pregnancy can be a very frightening distressing situation, with you feeling confused and out of control of your body. It may impact both physically and psychologically on you, which sometimes trickles down to the child a woman may bear.4 If you think you may be pregnant as a result of rape inflicted by your partner, please do see a doctor as soon as you can. You can do this with the help of a rape crisis service, or have a good friend support you. Please do see some of the links below for further help.
1. Reproductive Coercion: Connecting The Dots Between Partner Violence and Unintended Pregnancy - Elizabeth Miller, Beth Jordan, Rebecca Levenson, Jay G. Silverman
2 Pregnancy Following Partner Rape: What We Know and What We Need To Know Judith McFarlane Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, Apr 2007; vol. 8: pp. 127 - 134
3 Easteal, P. And McOrmond-Plummer, L, Real Rape Real Pain: Help for Women Sexually Assaulted by Male Partners, Hybrid Publishers, Melbourne, 2006
4. Finkelhor, D.and Yllo, K., License to Rape: Sexual Abuse of Wives, The Free Press, New York 1985;

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