Background: Domestic violence is a term that shows aggressive behavior with different physical, psychological, economic, and social dimensions. This concept is considered as one of the health priorities regarding its significant effects on pregnancy, postpartum, and the outcome of pregnancy. The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of family-based counseling on domestic violence against pregnant women.
Methods: An intervention trial was conducted on 92 pregnant women exposed to domestic violence, selected among 274 pregnant women accessible in Sahneh, Iran. Data collection was performed using the standard questionnaire of domestic violence against women of Mohseni Tabrizi. The pregnant women exposed to violence were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups (in two groups of 45 people). In the intervention group, three 45-min individual counseling sessions were held for the pregnant women and their spouses according to Greeting, Ask, Tell, Help, Explain, and Refer (GATHER) principles. Four weeks after the end of the sessions, the two groups again completed the questionnaire.
Results: Family-based counseling intervention reduced the mean score of domestic violence in the intervention group from 68.58 ± 9.21 before the intervention to 49.56 ± 8.83 after intervention. Also, various domains of violence including mental, verbal, financial, physical, sexual, and social violence were significantly declined in the intervention group (P < 0.001); however, there was no significant decrease in emotional violence score (P > 0.001).
Conclusion: Family-based counseling plays a significant role in reducing the various types of violence against women through increasing the awareness of couples and by improving the relationship between couples during pregnancy. It will reduce the incidence of violence against a pregnant woman and consequently reduce complications on the mother and pregnancy outcomes. Family-oriented counseling played a significant role in deterring all forms of violence against women by increasing awareness of couples and improving their relationship during pregnancy. Moreover, family-oriented counseling reduced the incidence of violence against pregnant women and thus deterred maternal complications associated with pregnancy.