Perinatal intimate partner violence is a hidden under reported and difficult to identify problem which has negative effects on mother and child. The present study aimed to explore barriers and facilitators of perinatal intimate partner violence disclosure.
This qualitative study was carried out from October 2019 to January 2021 in Mashhad, Iran. Participants included 23 abused women (11 pregnant and 12 after birth) which were selected via purposive sampling. Semi-structured in-depth interviews and focus group discussion were conducted until the data saturation was achieved. The data analysis was performed based on conventional content analysis adopted by Graneheim & Lundman.
The main themes “barriers to disclosure” and “facilitators of disclosure” were emerged as the result of data analysis. Barriers to disclosure included negative disclosure consequences and protection of family privacy. Facilitators of disclosure included maternal self-efficacy, threats to security, and formal and informal supportive networks.
Most abused women did not disclose violence despite routine screening for perinatal intimate partner violence in antenatal care. Recognizing the barriers to and facilitators of violence disclosure play an important role in eliminating barriers, strengthening facilitators, providing effective supportive services for abused women, and reducing perinatal violence. Focus on the barriers to and the facilitators of disclosure will be useful to policymakers, health program planners, and health care providers to identify and manage intimate partner violence, appropriately.