In these two short videos, we’ll be exploring research on reproductive coercion, a form of intimate partner violence in which someone attempts to control aspects of their partner’s pregnancy or reproductive outcomes. Dr. Sara McGirr shares evidence related to crime victim advocacy.
What is reproductive coercion?
A brief history on research related to reproductive coercion.
Reproductive coercion and advocacy
We talk with Dr. Sara McGirr about her research as well as what reproductive coercion is, who experiences it, and how advocates can support survivors.
Dr. Sara McGirr is a Research Scientist at the Michigan Public Health Institute.
Dr. Apryl Pooley is the Director of Training and Technical Assistance at the Michigan Victim Advocacy Network (MiVAN).
Research Articles Referenced In Video
Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T.,Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, June 19). Intimate partner violence: Definitions. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/definitions.html
McGirr, S.A., Bomsta, H.D., Vandegrift, C., Gregory, K., Hamilton, B.A., & Sullivan, C.M. (2020). An examination of domestic violence advocates’ responses to reproductive coercion. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35, 9-10: 2082-2106. doi:10.1177/0886260517701451
National LGBTQ Taskforce. (2022). Queering reproductive health, rights, and justice. Retrieved from https://www.thetaskforce.org/queering-reproductive-justice/
Yerke, A.F., DeFeo, J. (2016). Redefining intimate partner violence beyond the binary to include transgender people. Journal of Family Violence, 31, 975–979. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10896-016-9887-y
Toolkits and Fact Sheets:
Queering Reproductive Justice: A Mini Toolkit [16 pages]
This toolkit is intended specifically for reproductive health, rights, and justice advocates who want to gain and further their understanding of repro* issues within an LGBTQ context. This toolkit covers the fundamentals of both the reproductive health, rights and justice (“repro*”) movements and LGBTQ movements and how they are intertwined and inseparable. The toolkit will cover LGBTQ reproductive health care needs, barriers to accessing care, a legal overview of LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights, and the opposition we all face in the form of religious exemptions. At the end of this toolkit, you will find a glossary of relevant LGBTQ+ terms you may come across in doing LGBTQ-inclusive repro* advocacy. (2019, National LGBTQ Task Force)
Reproductive and Sexual Coercion: A Toolkit for Sexual & Domestic Violence Advocates [73 pages]
This toolkit aims to build sexual and domestic violence agencies’ capacity to identify and respond to reproductive and sexual coercion through a reproductive justice lens, and includes intake screening checklists for reproductive and sexual coercion, sample forms and policies, and guidance on fostering partnerships with family planning and reproductive health providers. (2020, Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance)
Exposing reproductive coercion: A toolkit for awareness raising, assessment, and intervention [19 pages]
This toolkit provides practical tools for advocates to use to understand reproductive coercion, assessment tools, sample scripts, and resources including a self-quiz and reproductive health and intimate partner violence wheel. (2014, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence)
Intimate Partner Violence and Reproductive Coercion Fact Sheet [6 pages]
This fact sheet defines and describes the scope of the reproductive coercion problem in the US, including who is at risk, profiles of abusers, and what steps can be taken to address the problem. (2012, Planned Parenthood)
Reproductive Health Safety Card [2 pages]
Available in multiple languages, this business card-sized tool prompts individuals to consider whether they are in a healthy relationship or have experienced reproductive coercion by an intimate partner. The card is designed to help individuals recognize how their intimate relationships may impact their reproductive health and their children’s health, while providing information for safety planning, national hotlines and resources for referral. Additionally, this tool provides guidance on how to frame a supportive conversation to help a friend or relative who may be experiencing intimate partner abuse. (2016, Futures Without Violence)
Caring Relationships, Healthy You LGBQ Safety Card [2 pages]
Available in multiple languages, this safety card is both a survivor-centered resource and a useful conversation starter for advocates who are doing universal education around healthy relationships and assessing for violence specifically with LGBQ people or in LGBTQ health settings. (2020, Futures Without Violence)
Caring Relationships, Healthy You Trans and Gender Nonconforming Safety Card [2 pages]
Available in English and Spanish, this safety card is both a survivor-centered resource and a useful conversation starter for advocates who are doing universal education around healthy relationships and assessing for violence specifically with Transgender, Gender Queer, Gender Non-Conforming people, or Non-Binary people. This safety card has 10 panels and folds up accordion style to be 3.5in x 2in so that it can easily fit in a wallet or a shoe insole. (2019, Futures Without Violence)
We Are Sacred: American Indian/Alaska Native Reproductive Health Safety Card [2 pages]
This safety card was designed for health settings serving Native communities including IHS clinics, Tribal health centers, and Urban Indian Health Centers. The card prompts individuals to ask themselves whether they are in a balanced relationship or if they have experienced reproductive coercion by an intimate partner. The card is designed to help individuals recognize how their intimate relationships may impact their reproductive health, while providing information for safety planning and referral. (2013, Futures Without Violence)
Reproductive Coercion and Intimate Partner Violence [1 hour]
This webinar explores successes, barriers, and promising practices in victim services agencies implementing reproductive coercion assessment and response protocols. (2014, Futures Without Violence)
More on MiVAN
Culturally Responsive Resources: Learn more about working with and building your understanding of communities you serve. Resources related to the Latinx community, LGBTQIA+ communities, native and tribal communities, and more.
Special Topics of Interest for Advocates: Resources for advocating for individuals involved in complex systems, human trafficking, mental health and substance abuse, stalking, victimization across the lifespan and more.