Violence and Control: Contraception and Abortion

Reproductive coercion is a recently emerged term and is used to describe interference with reproductive autonomy that denies a person’s decision-making and access to options. Reproductive coercion overlaps with intimate partner violence and sexual violence. It typically takes three different forms:

  1. pregnancy coercion, where a person is forced or manipulated into becoming pregnant;
  2. birth-control sabotage, where a person is prevented from using contraception or her contraception is tampered with;
  3. control of pregnancy outcomes, where a person is forced to continue or terminate a pregnancy.

(Sources: Children by Choice, and ‘How forced pregnancies and abortions deny women control over their own bodies’ by Laura Tarzia and Molly Wellington, University of Melbourne)


Violence, Control, Contraception and Abortion

Children by Choice provides information to women about violence and control in relation to unwanted and mistimed pregnancies, abortions, reproductive coercion, contraceptive options, and the woman's right to decide. This site prompts the woman to ask herself some key questions about her circumstances and wellbeing, and suggests ways to explore her options.

Contraception Chart

This is a contraception chart for patients whose contraceptive use is compromised due to violence. It includes key questions for consideration, and contraceptive options that are less detectable and cannot be tampered with, allowing a woman to choose safer and more appropriate methods that suit her needs. (Source: Children by Choice)

Unplanned Pregnancy in Violent and Abusive Relationships

The Royal Women's Hospital provides information and support for women experiencing unplanned pregnancy in violent and abusive relationships, including information about violence against women, reproductive coercion, decision-making, regaining control and links to support services.

Family Violence Information

Better Health Channel provides information about family violence, a checklist for family violence, and where to get help.

Family Violence Counselling

1800RESPECT, is a national counselling service, includes information and support for people experiencing reproductive abuse. Telephone and online counselling is available.

Domestic and Family Violence Referral Options

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre (DVRCV) is a state-wide resource centre that works to prevent and respond to family violence, with a particular focus on men’s violence against women in intimate relationships. DVRCV Victoria lists services both statewide and in the regions.