When Abuse Begins or Gets Worse During Pregnancy

There is a growing body of research indicating that intimate partner violence often begins or increases during pregnancy, regardless of whether the pregnancy is the result of abuse. As the folks at the National Domestic Violence Hotline explain, “Since abuse is based on power and control, it’s common that an abusive partner will become resentful and jealous that the attention is shifting from them to the pregnancy.They may be stressed at the thought of financially supporting a child, frustrated at the increased responsibilities or angry that their partner’s body is changing.”

No one ever deserves to be abused whether or not they are pregnant, but a pregnancy can cause women in abusive relationships to feel especially vulnerable. If you are experiencing partner violence, check out these articles to learn about how to stay safe during your pregnancy. Also, if you are planning for adoption and working with an agency you trust, we urge you to tell your social worker or counselor about your situation. They can help you make a plan for your safety as well as provide emotional support throughout this difficult time and afterward.

Today is the last day of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but there are resources available every day of the year for women who are experiencing abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24/7 and available in over 170 languages at 1-800-799-SAFE. They also have a chat line at www.thehotline.org. No matter who you are or where you are, we hope you’ll reach out to find the support you deserve.

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