Changing Patterns of Intimate Partner Violence against Pregnant Women: A Three-Year Longitudinal Study

Xiao Y. Chen, Camilla K. M. Lo, Frederick K. Ho, Wing C. Leung, Patrick Ip, Ko Ling Chan (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Intimate partner violence (IPV) against pregnant women adversely impacts women’s and infants’ health. This study aims to provide longitudinal evidence regarding how pregnant women’s exposure to IPV changes over time. Additionally, we examine the risk and protective factors associated with these changes. In total, 340 pregnant women were recruited from an antenatal clinic in Hong Kong. IPV experiences and health conditions were assessed at pregnancy and at both 4 weeks and 3 years after childbirth. The women also reported adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), their family support, and perceived partner involvement. We found IPV prevalence among the study sample decreased from 22.9% before pregnancy to 13.5% during pregnancy, 14.7% at 4 weeks after childbirth, and 11.8% at 3 years after childbirth. We further found three types of IPV: 11.8% of women had a violent relationship (VR) persistently over time from pregnancy to 3 years after childbirth, 20.6% experienced decreased IPV (DVR), and 67.6% reported a nonviolent relationship (NVR) throughout the study period. VRs were associated with more severe mental health problems and higher ACEs. Family support and partner involvement may be protective factors for decreased IPV. Our present findings highlight the importance of identifying different IPV types over time to provide targeted intervention to the most vulnerable groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14397
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2022


  • pregnant women
  • intimate partner violence
  • longitudinal design
  • changing patterns
  • Chinese


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