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Global Perspectives on Reproductive Coercion and Abuse

Guest Editors: Professor Laura Tarzia & Doctor Nicola Sheeran

Reproductive Health invite you to submit to our new special series: Global Perspectives on Reproductive Coercion and Abuse.

Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) describes behaviours intended to control or dictate a person’s reproductive choices. It can be perpetrated for the purpose of promoting, preventing or ending a pregnancy, typically by an intimate partner or family member. RCA encompasses a range of behaviours from verbal coercion and threats to influence a pregnancy outcome to the use of physical violence to induce miscarriage. It has strong links with intimate partner violence (Grace et al. 2016) and sexual violence and occurs within a context of fear and control (Tarzia & Hegarty 2021). Studies suggest that it may be linked with a range of poor mental and physical health outcomes. Despite this, RCA is an under-researched form of violence against women (and other people who can become pregnant), only formally recognised within the literature as recently as 2010 (Miller et al. 2010). Robust studies of prevalence and qualitative examinations of its context and dynamics are lacking, particularly outside of the United States family planning context. Furthermore, the existing evidence base has been troubled by conceptual murkiness which has clouded our understanding of risk and protective factors and associations with other forms of violence. For example, the inclusion of “stealthing” or non-consensual condom removal as a form of RCA irrespective of whether the behaviour was intended to cause pregnancy or not. 

This special collection will focus on advancing our conceptual understanding of RCA in a global context. We welcome high quality conceptual/theoretical or empirical papers focused specifically on RCA perpetrated by intimate partners or family members (as opposed to structural issues impacting reproductive autonomy). Both quantitative and qualitative methods are encouraged. Although we welcome submissions from any country and setting, we particularly appreciate contributions from authors located in low-and-middle-income countries or the Global South.  

Areas of interest include: 
•    Interactions between RCA and sexual violence;
•    Prevalence studies that measure the full spectrum of RCA behaviours (including pregnancy preventing behaviour & forced/coerced abortion);
•    Interventions addressing RCA
•    Qualitative explorations of RCA across different cultural contexts
•    Studies focused on perpetration of RCA
•    Indigenous peoples’ experiences of RCA
•    LGBTIQ+ people’s experiences of RCA

Manuscripts should be formatted according to the Reproductive Health submission guidelines and submitted via the online submission system. All articles will undergo the journals full standard peer-review process and will be published upon acceptance. In the submission system please select the correct series title and also indicated in the covering letter that the manuscript is to be considered for this special series. More information about the series and the journal, including full aims & scope and Editorial Board, can be found on the journal website. For submission enquiries please contact the Editors at reproductivehealthjournal@biomedcentral.com.

There are currently no articles in this collection.