Siofra Peeren

Thesis title:

Understanding the pregnancy and parenting experiences and maternity care needs of survivors of sexual violence in adulthood


Sexual violence (SV) is a form of gender-based violence and a global public health concern. Globally it is estimated that 35% of women have experienced domestic or sexual violence and in the UK approximately 14% of women have been sexually abused in adulthood. Survivors of SV are at a greater risk of developing perinatal mental and physical health problems. Thus, the perinatal period is a vulnerable time for survivors and maternity services play a key role in identifying and responding to needs.A small body pf existing research has largely focused on experiences and needs of survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), highlighting how aspects pregnancy and maternity care can re-create past abuse. However, research with survivors of CSA may not be generalizable to survivors of adult sexual abuse (ASA). Siofra’s research will address these evidence gaps by conducting a systematic review of available qualitative studies examining experiences and needs of survivors of SV, interviewing survivors of ASA about their experiences of pregnancy, parenting and maternity care, and conducting focus groups with maternity care providers to explore how they can better support survivors.

First supervisor:

Sian Oram


2 – Life Course, Psychology, & Health