Domestic Violence: What to Do If You’re Pregnant and Abused

Prenatal classBeing pregnant is one of the most delightful things that could happen to women. It’s a time of significant changes, excitement, and happiness, but also a time that women will need support from family, friends, and most especially their partners.

Pregnancy and Domestic Violence

Unfortunately, according to a 2012 Personal Safety Survey by ABS, 22% of respondents have experienced physical abuse by their current partner while they were pregnant and 25% of respondents have experienced abuse by a former partner during their pregnancy. Moreover, of the women who experienced abuse by a former partner while pregnant, 25% of them said that the abuse first happened while they were with a child.

If your partner is physically and/or emotionally abusing you, it could make your pregnancy difficult, even traumatising. Below are some tips to help keep you and your baby safe if you’re not yet ready to leave your abusive relationship:

  • Remember that you’re always at high risk during episodes of violence because you’re pregnant. That said, if you have a two-storey home, stay on the first floor if you can. Get yourself in the fetal position and safeguard your stomach during violent episodes.
  • Consider taking a prenatal class exclusively for women. You just might find yourself being comfortable with discussing your concerns, and perhaps your situation at home.
  • Your regular doctor appointments could be a chance for you to seek help. If your partner accompanies you to appointments, try to find some time to speak with your doctor, the assistant or the receptionist and tell them about your concerns.
  • Townsville family lawyers may agree that you should ensure you already have a safety plan in place that you could execute in case you really need to get out of your home.

Other Vital Things to Take Note

Studies have found that the exposure to family or domestic violence while in utero could actually have a long-term effect on the wellbeing of children. But since this is a time that women have regular contact with social and health services, your pregnancy could serve as a catalyst to get away from your toxic relationship. Keep in mind that you do not deserve emotional or physical abuse, and while you might be feeling anxious and fearful about leaving, now is the prime time to do it because it would be unfair, even fatal, to your baby if you don’t do so.