What is Pregnancy Abuse?
Pregnancy and parenthood cause physical, emotional, financial and social changes, which can become even more challenging when your partner is abusive toward you. If you are pregnant and in an abusive relationship, you deserve to prioritize your safety. We can help you create a safety plan and locate resources in our area.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, intimate partner violence affects approximately 1.5 million women each year and affects as many as 324,000 pregnant women each year. Pregnancy can be an especially dangerous time for women in abusive relationships, and abuse can often begin or escalate during the pregnancy.
Partners become abusive or increase the abuse during pregnancy for a variety of reasons. Since abuse is based on power and control, it’s common that an abusive partner will become resentful and jealous that the attention is shifting from them to the pregnancy. They may be stressed at the thought of financially supporting a child, frustrated at the increased responsibilities or angry that their partner’s body is changing. None of this is the new mom’s fault and none of these are excuses. Nothing is an excuse for abuse.
Additionally, under the Affordable Care Act, all new and non-grandfathered health plans must cover screening and counseling for domestic violence — considering these to be preventive care services.
If possible, see if you can take a women-only prenatal class. This could be a comfortable atmosphere for discussing pregnancy concerns or could allow you to speak to the class instructor one-on-one.