Intimate partner violence (IPV), as founded by the World Health Organization, is widespread in every country. WHO's 2005 multi-country survey revealed up to 56 percent of women had been subjected to IPV — that’s physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse, as well as a partner’s controling behavior. In the United States, the American Psychological Association revealed one in three women have reported experiencing rape, physical violence, and/or have been stalked by an intimate partner in their lifetime. One of the many problems with IPV is that it’s associated with poor reproductive health, meaning women are more likely to be subjected to reproductive coercion (being forced to either get pregnant or have an abortion) and contraception sabotage (a partner works to purposefully get a woman pregnant). And now, new research published in PLOS Medicine has found it’s not enough to simply identify these women, but rather, the specific behaviors that reduce the control women, of all ages, have over their own bodies, too.

Reduced control stems from the lack of training some health care providers have when it comes to providing women with the education and assistance they need to develop a family plan, researchers wrote. This conversation helps a woman identify the timing, number, and spacing of her future pregnancies, should pregnancy be a goal of hers at all. In which case, if she does not want to get pregnant, her health care provider should also be able to help her navigate that conversation with a partner who does want children, lessening the risk of reproductive coercion.

Similarly, women who don’t have a wide-range of, let alone access to, female-controlled contraception — oral contraceptives, like birth control, intrauterine devices, and contraceptive patches — are twice as likely to report unintended pregnancy. This seems like it shouldn’t be an issue, especially since The Affordable Care Act makes it so millions of people can have access to birth control and other preventative services without co-pays or deductibles. However, the law currently applies to those with private health insurance. That means free clinics, like Planned Parenthood, are a leading source for women to get the help they need.

Again, this is a seemingly non-issue… until you skim over the many headlines that discuss the 12 NFL players still playing after domestic violence arrests, the proposed closings of several abortion clinics, the so-called Hobby Lobby decision that for-real ruled religious corporation owners are not required to cover their employee’s insurance for contraception, and of course, the way a woman’s body can magically prevent a “legitimate rape” from resulting in pregnancy. In Bad Feminist, Roxanne Gay, New York Times best-selling author and English professor at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., said despite “politicians and their ilk who are hell-bent on reintroducing reproductive freedom as a ‘campaign issue’ have short memories,” women, thankfully, do not. She added:

Rather than solve the real problems the United States is facing, some politicians, mostly conservative, have decided to try to solve the ‘female problem’ by creating a smoke screen, reintroducing abortion and, more inexplicably, birth control into a national debate. Women have been forced undergrounded for contraception and pregnancy termination before, and we will go underground again if we have to.

When abusive partners (and legislation?) reduce the control a woman has over her body, forcing her to get pregnant and potentially threatening her life, these women are twice as likely to get an abortion by, as Gay touched upon, any means necessary. Thus, researchers wrote, “IPV places women at greater risk of maternal death by increasing their risk for unsafe abortion.” Even with access to female-controled contraception, abusive partners are prone to hiding and destroying it.

The only way researchers propose any of this will improve is if everyone — we’re paraphrasing here — gets a grip. “Addressing the range of poor reproductive outcomes associated with IPV and related non-violent forms of male reproductive coercion will require development of interventions and policies multiple levels, [like the national health care system, clinics, communities, families, and relationships] adapted to multiple cultural and geographic contexts.” These “brief and sustainable service-based” interventions will both educate women on IPV, but will alert them to potential warning signs.

And there are warning signs. A separate study from the University of Michigan Health System not only found one in five men have committed IPV, making it more prevalent than diabetes, but most doctors can pick-up on particularly aggressive behavior. “Most of our efforts to prevent intimate partner violence have focused on screening and improving outcomes for women who are victims, because their health and well-being is our priority,” Dr. Vijay Singh, a clinical lecturer in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a press release. “Our research shows that male perpetrators of intimate partner violence seek routine medical services, and they have physical symptoms that are common reasons patients seek medical care. This suggests that we may be missing an important opportunity in the primary care setting to identify their aggressive behavior and potentially intervene.”

Changing the way we talk about something as little as bith control pills can have a big impact on the way we talk about, and address the too-many issues concerning, reproductive health.