Pregnancy and the hope of a new life can be heartwarming and a wonderful time. However, pregnant women living in domestic violence situations, pregnancy can be filled with fear, uncertainty and insecurity.
Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is often physical but can also be economic, emotional, verbal, sexual and even stalking. It can happen to anyone. Domestic violence knows no boundaries. It happens to students, stay-at-home moms, cashiers and corporate executives. Women of all ages, ethnicities, faiths, economic status and levels of education can find themselves in an environment where their intimate partner, or former partner, is abusing them. It is more common than people believe. According to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, as much as 35% of women experience some form of intimate partner violence. That is equivalent to 1 in 3 women.
How do I know if I am in an abusive relationship?
If you are not sure what the signs of intimate partner abuse are, you are not alone. Abuse comes in many forms. Below, less well-known forms of abuse are listed first.
Economic: Preventing you from going to work; not allowing you a say in how money you earned is spent; blocking access to your income; withholding money for basic needs; stealing money from you.
Emotional: Blaming you for things you have not done; shaming; neglect; coercion (i.e. forcing you to do something against your will including use of drugs, alcohol, or smoking); humiliating you; name-calling; continual criticism; putting you down.
Psychological: Stalking; threats; intimidation; trying to control what you can or cannot do; isolating you from friends, family, co-workers.
Sexual: Forcing you to have sex or perform sexual acts you do not want to engage in; refusing to use condoms; preventing you from using your choice of birth control.
Medical: Preventing you from going to medical appointments or seeking medical care for injuries; causing you to not take prescription medications (i.e. hiding, throwing away, not allowing you to fill prescriptions); demanding to attend all medical appointments with you and/or to be in the exam room.
Physical violence: Pushing; slapping; punching; kicking; biting; use of weapons including knives or guns.
Click for the Domestic Violence Intervention Program’s detailed list on signs that indicate you may be experiencing intimate partner violence.
Hotline Phone Numbers:
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 TTY
W.O.M.A.N., Inc., San Francisco Bay Area 24-Hour Hotline: 415-864-4722
Support Circle can provide you with additional resources that may help you: 1-888-252-1822
Support Circle’s professional nurses and counselors offer a safe place. With three Bay Area clinics in San Francisco, Redwood City and Oakland, our team is able to listen and provide the support and community resources you need. We encourage you to call, schedule an appointment or walk-in today. You don’t have to go through this alone. Call 1-888-252-1822 or visit http://www.supportcircle.org today.