Access to Antenatal Care: A Question of Domestic Violence among Mothers in Rural Kano, Nigeria

Maimuna B. Hussain, Jimoh Amzat


Domestic violence is pervasive, with one third of women having been domestically abused, has a negative influence on maternal health care. Domestic violence is bedeviled with a culture of silence; it is usually under-reported. The study was anchored on the cultural theory of violence. A total of 1,143 mothers from three rural Local Government Areas of Kano State were proportionally drawn using different sampling procedures. Quantitative data were collected by use of questionnaires. The data revealed that domestic violence is a common problem between couples in all the localities: one-quarter of pregnant women reported domestic violence experience during the last pregnancy. In contrast, one-third reported experience of a specific form of domestic violence. The results reveal a significant relationship between low access to antenatal care and experience of domestic violence during the last pregnancy (sig. α@0.05). Low access to antenatal care also leads to a high home delivery rate, mainly without any skilled birth attendant. Women with low education are also more likely to face abuse, resulting in inadequate access to antenatal services. In the light of the cultural theory, domestic violence is a significant cultural correlate of low access to antenatal care, and therefore, the cultural precepts favorable to domestic violence needs to be reversed. It is concluded that domestic violence predisposes mothers to antenatal care neglect. The general recommendation is that the government should intensify efforts on the awareness and legal measures that will discourage domestic violence.

Keywords: Domestic violence, Antenatal Care, Maternal health, Nigeria

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