Although pregnancy is generally considered to be a happy time for
couples, abuse can happen more often and get worse when women are pregnant. Not only do abusive men often become more abusive when their
partners are pregnant, but a pregnancy can be the first time a woman
experiences abuse from her partner. If your partner seems jealous of the
developing baby or the extra attention you are getting; is more needy for your
exclusive attention; tries to control where you go, who you see, or the money
you use; verbally attacks you; or physically threatens you or someone else, you
are at risk for physical abuse during your pregnancy.
If you are physically abused while pregnant, your baby is also at
risk for physical harm or death. This is not a time to hope that the physical
abuse will stop—some women find that violence gets worse when they are pregnant.
This is a time to find safety for yourself and your child or children.
If you are concerned for your safety, devise a safety plan:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline can link you to help in your
area. A nationwide database includes detailed information on domestic violence
shelters, other emergency shelters, legal advocacy and assistance programs, and
social service programs.
July 23, 2012
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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