What is it? Well, it's one thing we see here now and again in people's posts that almost always lets us know a relationship is probably controlling or abusive. In fact, by the time someone tells us this is going on, if they've posted about the relationship before, we've often already seen other signs of control and/or abuse.
Reproductive coercion is, as the AHRP explains well, "can include “birth control sabotage” (interference with contraception) and/or “pregnancy coercion,” such as telling a woman not to use contraception and threatening to leave her if she doesn't get pregnant.23, 24, 25, 26 While reproductive coercion was associated with unintended pregnancy in our study, we found that the risk for unintended pregnancy doubled among those women reporting both partner violence and reproductive coercion. This is certainly not surprising, as women in abusive relationships are more likely to fear the consequences of resistance to such coercive behaviors."
In other words, if a partner has refused to cooperate with birth control, said they would but then ditched it or didn't let their partner use it, sabotaged it in another way, or pushed pregnancy on a partner who either doesn't want that or really isn't ready for it, that's what we're talking about.
I know it can seem benign at first. Like, if someone yanks a condom off, won't use one, or says they worry your BC method may not be "safe" for your health, or even says they'd love you to have their baby, that doesn't have to be anything big that's wrong, right? But based on what studies show us, and what we tend to see in real-life experience with these behaviors, more often it IS a sign something is really not okay, especially if it happens more than once, and especially if it is accompanied by other controlling and/or abusive behaviours.
Has this happened to you? To anyone you know? If so, did you or that other person recognize it as a sign of abuse at the time or afterwards? If it DOES happen to you, do you know how to address it and take care of yourself?
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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