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Research report

Spousal violence during the perinatal period and parenthood

In Québec, spousal violence is a significant issue to which major prevention and intervention efforts are dedicated. Even so, and despite the damaging consequences of perinatal intimate partner violence (PIPV), little research has been conducted on the topic.

A three-pronged joint research project was therefore set in motion in an effort to document the prevalence and manifestations of PIPV and better understand the practices of professionals who support mothers, children and fathers. The findings confirm that:

One in ten women in Québec report experiences of PIPV.

  • one in ten women in Québec report experiences of PIPV;
  • these women experience various types of PIPV, which impact motherhood in different ways. Mothers are demeaned and controlled and still most often remain primarily responsible for taking care of the children and household. Beginning in the earliest stages of pregnancy and following birth, women require support that ensures their safety and provides access to resources that are adapted to their needs;
  • the men who were violent toward the women in the study say they must be held accountable, educated and supported in order to begin to change their behaviours and parent without violence; and
  • professionals stress the importance of addressing PIPV with families but recognize that it can be a sensitive topic. To effectively tackle the problem, counsellors require more tools and training. They also identify action forums and intersectoral strategies as practices to prioritize.

Main researcher
: Sylvie Lévesque, Université du Québec à Montréal

Original title: Violence conjugale lors de la période périnatale et parentalité : documenter et comprendre, pour mieux intervenir et soutenir

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