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Revista de la Universidad Industrial de Santander. Salud

Print version ISSN 0121-0807


JOJOA-TOBAR, Elisa et al. Obstetric violence: making the invisible visible. Rev. Univ. Ind. Santander. Salud [online]. 2019, vol.51, n.2, pp.135-146. ISSN 0121-0807.


Obstetric violence has been typified as a form of gender violence, which refers to the behaviors of action or omission; It can be institutional, psychological, symbolic or sexual.


To characterize the different modalities of obstetric violence.


Qualitative study with a phenomenological approach; conformed by 16 women with obstetric experiences under two years who attended the homes of Family, Women and Children (FAMI) of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare in the city from Popayán (Colombia) during the 2016. Structured interviews were conducted and in depth about their experiences in the institutional care of childbirth, in terms of decision making and information about procedures, position for childbirth, presence of companion, right to privacy, perceptions about physical and psychological abuse.


69% of the interviewed women reported some form of obstetric violence. Institutional violence was recorded in most of the reports and was associated with institutional policies that do not meet the expectations of pregnant women in the birth process and nonconformity with health care received during labor; Psychological violence was perceived as a lack of information and autonomy in decision-making in the process of care, mistreatment and impediment to pregnant women to express their feelings and emotions.


The majority of women are unaware of their rights and / or naturalize acts of obstetric violence. Health professionals must recognize in their training and in the fields of practice, the different types of obstetric violence in order to design mechanisms for their prevention and abolition. It is necessary to explore the occurrence of events associated with sexual violence within the framework of obstetric care.

Keywords : Obstetric violence; birth; sexual and reproductive rights.

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