Birth Control Sabotage – Submit Your Stories
In September, I covered a study published in Ambulatory Pediatrics in which young women were interviewed about intimate partner violence. Several of those interviewed reported that their partners had attempted to force them to become pregnant, sometimes through sabotaging their contraceptives (poking holes in condoms, flushing birth control, etc.).
The Family Violence Prevention Fund is launching a project to collect your stories of this little-discussed type of abuse, as a first step toward a broader awareness campaign on the issue. If you have a story to share, please consider the announcement below.
Have You Experienced Birth Control Sabotage? Share Your Story…
Holes poked in a condom. Flushed pill packets. A boyfriend’s sneer that
“Depo-Provera is for sluts.” Widespread but often silenced, women’s experiences
of birth control sabotage offer a prime example of how violence and abuse in
intimate relationships are linked with reproductive health and rights.
This September, a groundbreaking study by Dr. Elizabeth Miller of the Center for
Reducing Health Disparities revealed just how common the problem really is.
Miller found that a quarter of teenage girls with histories of abusive
relationships living in poor neighborhoods in Boston reported that their abusive
partners actively tried to get them pregnant by manipulating condom use,
sabotaging birth control, and making explicit statements about wanting them to
Troubling stuff. And something that needs to be more openly discussed—both in
the women’s health community and in the wider national arena.
That’s where women like YOU enter the picture. The Family Violence Prevention
Fund (FVPF) is searching in a wide variety of venues for women who are willing
to share their personal experiences of birth control sabotage and other negative
attempts–no matter how seemingly “small”–to control their reproductive rights.
Have you ever had to hide your pills from your boyfriend or husband? Has your
intimate partner been verbally or emotionally manipulative about your birth
control choices? Have you ever been pressured into an abortion or an unintended
pregnancy? We want to hear your story, because we think it matters, and we
believe it can make a difference to women in similar situations.
Your stories can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d like to
share anonymously, let us know; if you’d prefer to take a more active role as a
spokeswoman, tell us that, too. We’re eager to hear your thoughts, experiences,
and ideas, and we think they’ll be a crucial part of this new effort to put a
widespread and serious problem on the public’s radar screen.