Racial/Ethnic Differences in Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Postpartum Abuse Screening Among Rural U.S. Residents Who Gave Birth 2016-2020


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious health risk and a contributor to maternal mortality. Rates of IPV are elevated around the time of childbirth, and screening for abuse is recommended to ensure access to appropriate IPV-related services and supports. The goal of this analysis is to describe IPV among rural U.S. residents who gave birth 2016-2020, with a focus on differences by race/ethnicity. Researchers also describe the frequency by which different racial/ethnic groups are not screened for abuse postpartum, with the goal of informing efforts to improve detection of and interventions for IPV among rural residents and to improve racial equity in maternal health.

Key Findings:

  • This analysis assessed racial/ethnic differences in rural U.S. birthing people's experiences of physical IPV before or during pregnancy, as well as differences in abuse screening at postpartum checkup visits.
  • Researchers found higher rates of IPV among multiracial and American Indian/Alaska Native rural birthing people compared to non-Hispanic white rural respondents.
  • Among all rural birthing people, and among rural IPV victims only, non- Hispanic white birthing people had higher rates of not being screened for abuse postpartum compared to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color respondents.
University of Minnesota Rural Health Research Center
Emily Sheffield, Alyssa Fritz, Katy Backes Kozhimannil