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Homicide is a leading cause of death for pregnant women in US

BMJ 2022; 379 doi: (Published 19 October 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;379:o2499
  1. Rebecca B Lawn, postdoctoral research fellow1,
  2. Karestan C Koenen, professor of psychiatric epidemiology12
  1. 1Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
  2. 2Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to: R B Lawn rlawn{at}

Shocking situation linked to lethal combination of intimate partner violence and firearms

Women in the US are more likely to be murdered during pregnancy or soon after childbirth than to die from the three leading obstetric causes of maternal mortality (hypertensive disorders, haemorrhage, or sepsis).1 These pregnancy associated homicides are preventable, and most are linked to the lethal combination of intimate partner violence and firearms.2 Preventing men’s violence towards women, including gun violence, could save the lives of hundreds of women and their unborn children in the US every year.1234

Intimate partner violence is prevalent worldwide, with one in three women reporting experiences of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse by a partner in their lifetime.56 Reports suggest the US has a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence than other high income countries, including most European countries and Australia.7 Intimate partner violence is often fatal.8 In the …

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