"At Least I Didn't Get Raped": A Qualitative Exploration of IPV and Reproductive Coercion among Adolescent Girls Seeking Family Planning in Mexico

J Interpers Violence. 2022 Apr;37(7-8):NP4740-NP4761. doi: 10.1177/0886260520959571. Epub 2020 Nov 12.


Adolescent girls who report intimate partner violence (IPV) are at an increased risk of experiencing reproductive coercion (RC); both these forms of gender-based violence (GBV) are associated with unintended pregnancy. Yet little is known about these experiences among adolescent girls in Mexico. Qualitative data were collected as part of formative research for the adaptation of an evidence-based intervention to address RC and IPV in community health centers in Tijuana, Mexico. From September, 2017 to January, 2018, adolescent girls aged 16 to 20 years old (n = 20) seeking voluntary family planning (FP) services were identified and recruited from two publicly funded community health centers. We conducted semi-structured, in-depth interviews and analyzed the transcripts using inductive and deductive techniques. Participants in this sample commonly described experiencing IPV and RC (including pregnancy coercion and contraceptive sabotage), which many girls reported resulted in unintended pregnancy. Further, participants' narratives and general lack of knowledge on how to cope with IPV or RC illuminated the acceptability of offering GBV prevention intervention within FP clinics serving this population. Findings highlight an urgent need to prevent IPV and RC, and reduce risk for unintended pregnancy among adolescent girls in this region and the potential of FP clinics to serve as a safe space for intervention delivery. Findings contribute to the limited qualitative evidence from Mexico, describing adolescent girl's experiences of IPV and RC, strategies for preventing pregnancy in the context of RC, and opportunities for support from FP providers.

Keywords: adolescents; cultural contexts; dating violence; domestic violence; revictimization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Coercion
  • Family Planning Services* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intimate Partner Violence* / prevention & control
  • Mexico
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual Partners
  • Young Adult