Obstetric violence in Chile: women’s perceptions and differences among health centers

Cárdenas Castro et al.


The objective of this article is to report the results of the first survey on obstetric violence in Chile, to bring to light a reality more common than we think, and to compare its occurrence by the type of service (public or private) where the birth was attended.


This is a descriptive and cross-sectional study conducted from December 2019 to May 2020. The sample was composed of 2 105 women from all regions of Chile.


Data analyses indicate that 79.3% of women believe they have experienced some form of obstetric violence. Despite the many reports of violence in public and private health centers, significant statistical differences were detected between the two, with higher numbers of reports for public centers. Similarly, more reports of obstetric violence were detected in young women (aged 18–29 years), in those who identify as indigenous, and among those with a non-heterosexual sexual orientation.


Obstetric violence is part of the continuum of violence against women and is systematically reported by those who give birth in both public and private health services. This form of violence has serious consequences for women, due to both their difference in position with respect to the medical team and the importance of the birthing event in the life of any woman.

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