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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Pamela Aselton

Second Advisor

Donna Zucker

Third Advisor

Luis Marentes

Subject Categories

Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nursing Midwifery


Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviors that includes the threat or infliction of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse that is used by perpetrators for the purpose of intimidation and control over the victim. The lived experience and meaning of domestic violence in Puerto Rican pregnant women has not been well researched. This study described pregnant women’s lived experience of domestic violence and examined the factors influencing the process of disclosure of domestic violence among pregnant women in the southern region of Puerto Rico. A phenomenological method was used where women who have experienced domestic violence during pregnancy were invited to participate in online semi structured interviews. Data analysis included qualitative coding of the interview identifying emergent themes. In order to ensure trustworthiness and accurate representation of the text the use of a second reader was employed in the thematic analysis. The main themes identified included lack of direct questions from providers, isolation, worsening of abuse by pregnancy, physical, psychological and sexual abuse; support from family, friends and shelter; lack of police support and economic dependence. Implications for nursing are discussed.