This month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
I was reminded of the importance of increasing awareness about domestic violence after reading this post by Molly at Citizens for Midwifery (CFM). Like Molly, domestic violence was the first social justice cause to which I was, and continue to be, deeply committed. The work I did with women and children who had experienced domestic violence has changed my life in many profound and meaningful ways. Molly's post reminds us that violence against women is found not only within intimate partner relationships, but also within many aspects of women's lives such as medical care, pregnancy care, and birth care.
Domestic violence during pregnancy is a grave concern. For example, did you know...
- According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), in Oregon, 1 in 10 women reported experiencing intimate partner violence in a 2001-2002 survey.
- An estimated 8% of women are abused during their pregnancies.
- Physical abuse often escalates when an abuser finds out about the pregnancy.
- Homicide is the leading cause of death among pregnant women.