Lunch and Learn
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Speaker: Dr Pam Lowe
Reproductive coercion and abuse (RCA) is a specific form of interpersonal abuse which attempts to promote, prevent or control pregnancy through interference, coercion, threats and violence. Whilst it often occurs in the context of other forms of abuse such as domestic abuse or child sexual exploitation, it can also occur in isolation.
This session will briefly outline different forms of RCA, before outlining issues that impact on disclosure of RCA. In particular it will highlight how normative assumptions about women, pregnancy and motherhood shape perceptions of whether or not coercion is likely to be an issue, particularly highlighting how this interrelates with stigma around the non-use of contraception and abortion. It will suggest that increasing awareness and support around RCA is important, and this needs to happen alongside recognising and challenging stereotypical assumptions about pregnancy.
Dr Pam Lowe is a senior lecturer in sociology at Aston University. Her main area of research is around women’s reproductive and sexual health. Recent research projects include a longitudinal ethnography of UK anti-abortion activism, and the sexual health of online sex-workers. She is currently working on a British Academy Innovation Fellowship which seeks to develop policy and practice for the identification and safeguarding for reproductive coercion and abuse in healthcare settings.