Domestic Violence and Pregnancy

About Domestic Violence

Are you being threatened, beaten, sexually assaulted or otherwise harmed by someone you live with? It is against the law for another person to threaten or hurt you — even if that other person is your spouse. Domestic violence is more than just a "family problem" — it's a crime.

Did you know:

  • Women are ten times more likely to be victims of domestic abuse than men.
  • Women are more likely to be injured in violent incidents committed by husbands/boyfriends than in incidents committed by strangers.
  • Husbands, former husbands, boyfriends, and ex-boyfriends commit more than one million violent acts against women annually.
  • Thirty percent of female murder victims were killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
  • Domestic violence affects at least one out of four American families.
  • Women age 20 to 34 suffer the highest rates of domestic violence compared to other age groups.
  • Thirty percent of injured women in emergency rooms are a result of battering.
  • Women of all races and all geographic locations are equally vulnerable to attacks.

    AND...

     

  • 15% to 25% of pregnant women are battered.
  • Nearly one woman in six is abused during pregnancy.
  • Pregnant and abused women are more likely to develop pregnancy problems from the abuse than from any other complication.

Are You A Victim of Domestic Abuse?

Forced abortion is violence against a woman and her unborn child. Don't let anyone take away your right to choose life. Visit a local pregnancy center for help.

Domestic violence can take many forms, but the goal is always the same: Batterers want to control their partners through fear. They do this by regularly abusing them physically, sexually, psychologically, and economically.

Abuse may take the following forms:

  • Physcial Abuse
    • Hitting, slapping, kicking, punching, beating
  • Verbal Abuse
    • Criticism, humiliation, name-calling, yelling
  • Sexual Violence
    • Rape, forced sexual activities, degrading sexual acts
  • Isolation
    • Making it hard to see friends or relatives, reading the mail, monitoring phone calls, controlling visits
  • Coercion
    • Illiciting guilt, sulking, manipulation, making impossible rules and inflicting punishment for breaking them
  • Harassment
    • Following or stalking, causing embarrassment in public, refusing to leave when asked
  • Economic Control
    • Not paying bills, withholding money, not letting the victim work or taking the victim's earnings
  • Abusing Trust
    • Lying, breaking promises, being unfaithful, overt jelousy, withholding important information
  • Threats and Intimidation
    • Threats to harm the victim, children, friends, or pets, shouting, keeping weapons and threatening to use them
  • Emotional Withholding
    • Not expressing feelings, not giving compliments, ignoring, not taking the victim's concerns seriously, disrespect
  • Destruction of Property
    • Breaking furniture, punching walls, throwing things, destroying the victim's personal items
  • Self Destructive Behavior
    • Drug or alcohol abuse, threatening suicide, reckless driving

Relationships should be built on equality, not power and control. Look at the table below and decide which column best describes your relationship with your partner.

 

Power & ControlEquality
Coercion & Threats Fairness
Intimidation Non-Threatening Behavior
Verbal Attacks Respect
Isolation Trust & Support
Minimizing, Denying, & Blaming Honesty
Using Loved Ones Responsible Parenting
Abusing Authority Shared Responsiblity
Economic Control Economic Partnership

What You Can Do

You don't deserve to be abused under any circumstance. If you are pregnant and your boyfriend or husband is hurting you, you and your baby are in danger. Visit your local pregnancy center for a referral for help, otherwise contact one any of the resouces listed below. A counselor can help you find a safe place to stay where you and your child won't be in danger.

 

Internet Resources and Links

 

Sources: "It Shouldn't Hurt to Go Home," Community and Senior Services of Los Angeles County: Domestic Violence Unit, 3175 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90020; "Battered Women," UCLA Police Department, Crime Prevention Unit, 601 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

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