Pregnancy and Domestic Violence/Abuse Awareness Month

On a typical day, there are more than 20,000 phone calls placed to domestic violence hotlines nationwide. Approximately 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men. Domestic violence is something more common than any of us would like to admit. However, domestic violence/abuse becomes even more critical when a woman is also pregnant.

 

What is considered domestic violence?

Domestic abuse/violence is a pattern of coercive, controlling behavior that is a pervasive, life-threatening crime affecting people. This includes physical, psychological, emotional, and sexual attacks and economic coercion used against their partners.

Domestic abuse is not the fault of the victim. Most abusers will tell or convince their partner that they’re doing this because the victim deserves it or because they love them. This could not be further from the truth. 

Domestic violence/abuse works its way out in numerous ways. This is a very limited list, but domestic violence/abuse signs are being:

  • Hit, hurt, slapped, pushed
  • To be threatened or made to feel afraid by your partner
  • Forced to have sex or something against your will
  • Kept from your family and friends
  • Destroying things that have value to you
  • Called names and mocked
  • Harassed/Stalked
  • Control by money or withheld money
  • Manipulated or manipulating your children

Domestic abuse often starts as something small and grows in intensity.

 

Do you think you’re pregnant? 

If you think you’re pregnant and facing domestic violence or abuse, why not come to Pregnancy Resource Center in Maryville? We offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasound examinations to verify the viability of your pregnancy, and you don’t have to worry about the cost. All of our services are free and confidential.

 

What are the effects of domestic abuse during pregnancy? 

If you are being hurt or threatened by your partner while you are pregnant; you have a higher chance of:

  • Injury to your uterus
  • Miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature baby
  • Getting a dangerous vaginal infection from forced or unprotected sex with someone who has an infection
  • Increased first and second trimester bleeding

This violence increases your baby’s risk of:

  • Weighing too little at birth
  • Having trouble nursing or taking a bottle
  • Having sleeping problems
  • Being harder to comfort than other babies
  • Having difficulty learning to walk, talk and learn normally
  • Experiencing lasting emotional trauma
  • Being physically and sexually abused
  • Being hurt during a fight

 

To have a healthy pregnancy and baby, you must free yourself of violence — which often takes the help of someone else. Leaving an abusive relationship can be very dangerous if not done carefully. If you are experiencing domestic violence and are pregnant, we can connect you with a large housing facility in Maryville. 

We are here for you, and your safety is our concern. Make an appointment or call (865) 328-9651.

 

 

 

Compiled sources:

Statistics. National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Accessed September 2021. Available from: https://www.ncadv.org/statistics

What is Domestic Violence? The Center for Family Justice. Accessed September 2021. Available from: https://centerforfamilyjustice.org/faq/domestic-violence/

Domestic Violence and Pregnancy. University of California San Francisco. Accessed September 2021. Available from: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/domestic-violence-and-pregnancy