International research suggests that a percentage of family and domestic violence begins during a woman’s pregnancy, or if already existing, increases during pregnancy.
This makes me question why?
A beautiful woman has been blessed with opportunity to birth a child so why does something so joyous be treated with such violence?
Gender inequality is recognised as the underlying reason for all forms of violence against women.
Women's preoccupation with their baby results in a lesser physical and emotional availability hence their ability to perform traditional caring and homekeeper roles is restricted, leading to an increase in violence.
Pregnancy has been identified as a time of greater autonomy and self-awareness for women and since control is a significant aspect of domestic and family violence, abusive men may view pregnancy as a threat and seek to re-exert control over their partners.
Sexual abuse has also been identified as a severe feature of domestic violence during pregnancy and post-partum as pregnancy can limit a violent partners assumed entitlement and free access to his partner's body. Unintended pregnancy may be an outcome of an existing abusive relationship, which can lead to stress and thoughts of abortion.
It is a HORRIFIC sin that needs to be stopped.
Young women from 18-24 years old, are more likely to experience domestic and family violence during their pregnancy. Over 3.1 million women over the age of 18 have experienced physical or sexual violence by a known perpetrator since the age of 15
Of these 3.1M women, 22% experienced physical violence during pregnancy by a current partner and 25% have experienced violence during pregnancy from a previous partner.
Of those 25% who experienced violence during pregnancy by a previous partner, 25% indicated that the violence first occurred during pregnancy.
This violence towards soon to be mums can have catastrophic consequences.
There is a much higher risk of having poor birth outcomes such as low birth weight & premature birth. Post-natal depression is also an associated outcome with domestic and family violence during pregnancy.
Increased exposure to violence in utero can impact the child later in life, developing wellbeing issues as they grow up.
Just the journey of pregnancy can be a very scary and dawnting process for most of women, yet these women affected by abuse are also battling the additional incredibly traumatising situation of feeling alone and worthless.
During pregnancy you need love and support. These women need to know that they are valued and are going to be amazing mums no matter what.
Reach out and help those who need it most. You are not alone.
JOIN OUR FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN BY PURCHASING ANY PRODUCT FROM OUR SHOP, AND WE WILL DONATE 50% OF THE PROFITS TO SHARE THE DIGNITY, WHO HELP COVER THE COSTS OF FUNERALS FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES DUE TO VIOLENCE AND PROVIDE SUPPORT AND ESSENTIALS TO HOMELESS WOMEN FLEEING AND IN NEED.
Factual information sourced from Australian Institute of Family Violence
Written by Kellie Thomas, creator Little Cherubs Baby Shop