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pregnant women
american medical association
mental health issues
journal of the american medical association
preterm babies
domestic violence
morning sickness
Violence Against Pregnant Women: The Silent Secret That Must Be Told
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Violence Against Pregnant Women: The Silent Secret That Must Be Told

In a meta study of more than a dozen individual research projects all published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers have found that between four and eight percent of all pregnant women in the United States have been exposed to some form of domestic violence but experts in the field fear that the numbers are in reality, much higher than that. An estimated 332,000 pregnant women are physically abused by their partners every year.

The causes of this increased risk of violence are baffling as well as sickening with the men frequently blaming the added stresses of the pregnancy, worries about the financial stability of the family and more. Experts say that men who already had the potential or the history of battering may view pregnancy as a threat to their position as the main person in the relationship. Those men are also more likely to try to kill the baby in utero or shortly after birth.

Most abusers, whether the woman is pregnant or not are old fashioned in their thinking, clinging to outdated gender roles where the woman is supposed to be submissive and obedient and to perform certain chores without question. He may not be happy that she is tired all of the time or that her morning sickness is keeping her from cooking his breakfast in the morning. Other men have admitted to beating their wives or girlfriends because they are getting "fat:" It is frightening because most abusers work to first isolate and then completely dominate their victims, often keeping her from getting the prenatal care that she needs during her pregnancy. That increases the risk of complications for both mother and child. Battered women are much more likely to develop mental health issues including depression and anxiety during pregnancy than other pregnant women. They are also much more likely to deliver prematurely, resulting in an underweight baby that is more than twenty times more likely to die before reaching the age of one. Preterm babies are also at higher risk for a wide range of long term complications including vision problems and developmental delays.

A number of advocacy groups as well as members of JAMA are urging new training standards for OB-GYNs across the United States so that they are better able to not only notice signs of potential abuse among their patients but to help the women get help for themselves and their children.


Street Talk

I am for all the help that can be found to stop this.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Barbara9  

i agree with cynthia, society need to reach out and do more for these women

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Amie, Thanks for sharing the facts! Indeed, society as a whole is suddenly waking up and taking notice. After largely simply accepting... and thereby teaching abuse. blessings, Cynthia

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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