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:
Pack some clothes, toiletries, important papers,
and phone numbers, and store them someplace away from home.
put together a private fund of cash.
Identify a safe place to go,
such as a women's shelter or a friend your partner does not know.
Keep a list of emergency phone numbers, including a women's
shelter and the police.
Contact your local domestic violence
prevention group for advice and support.
Seek assistance from your
health professional's office if you need help, are injured, or don't know where
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.
Call 1-800-787-3224 (TTY).
website at www.ndvh.org.
Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also send email through the website's contact page.
(Email is not confidential or secure.)
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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