In 2018, the University of Cape Town released the first study of violence against pregnant women at the hands of their intimate partners. The study found that violence against pregnant women is also committed by family members, and that 15% of women had experienced abuse ranging from sexual and physical to emotional and verbal. The researchers found that the high level of violence was associated with poverty– related factors, including food-insecurity, mental ill-health, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies and past experience of abuse. In its most severe form, violence against pregnant women has been reported as a contributor of maternal deaths.
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