A study published in the Lancet concludes that psychological intimate partner violence is strongly associated with postnatal depression, independent of physical or sexual abuse. The finding has significant policy and program implications, given that the focus is often placed on prevention of physical violence, rather than psychological violence.
Between July 2005 and December 2006, researchers studied the experiences of 1,133 pregnant women in Recife, located in northeastern Brazil. Psychological violence was the most common form of intimate partner violence experienced and was associated with occurrences of postnatal depression. Researchers note that partner violence against women is common during pregnancy and may have adverse effects on the mental health of women following delivery.
See “Violence Against Women by Their Intimate Partner during Pregnancy and Postnatal Depression: A Prospective Cohort Study,” Lancet(September 11, 2010; 376: 903-910), available at www.thelancet.com.