Intimate Partner Violence-Pregnancy

October is domestic violence awareness month and because I’m a victim advocate I would like to shed some light on the crime because it is truly a crime to abuse anyone but women who are pregnant are in greater danger.


Intimate partner violence is a complex form of violence that includes psychological, physical and sexual components. It is characterized by harm to an individual caused by the behaviors or actions of a current or former intimate partner. Intimate partner violence can lead to lasting physical and mental health issues, and even death. Over half of all female homicides are related to intimate partner violence, and of all women who are killed by an intimate partner, approximately 10 percent had experienced violence in the month preceding their death.

In addition to the woman’s physical health, violence during pregnancy can affect infant health, especially when violent acts target the woman’s abdomen.

Estimates of intimate partner violence during pregnancy vary depending on the definition of abuse and the population being studied. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau reported that from 2009 to 2010, approximately 4 percent of women with a recent live birth in a 30-state area reported that they had been pushed, hit, slapped, kicked, choked or physically hurt in some way by an intimate partner in the 12 months prior to becoming pregnant. About 3 percent reported experiencing this type of abuse during their most recent pregnancy. Unfortunately, the true prevalence is likely underestimated due to a reluctance of women to disclose intimate partner violence, especially during pregnancy.

Effects of intimate partner violence on pregnant women may include:

  • Severe nausea, vomiting and/or dehydration
  • Kidney, urinary tract, cervical and uterine infections
  • Exacerbation of existing medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • Engagement in negative health behaviors during pregnancy, such as alcohol and/or drug use, smoking and delaying prenatal care
  • Insufficient weight gain during pregnancy
  • Increased risk of vaginal bleeding, miscarriage, preterm labor and/or preterm birth
  • Negative effects on the infant, including low birthweight, fetal injury, stillbirth and lack of emotional attachment to the child
  • Depression and suicide


Intimate partner violence often escalates, which makes occurrence of prior intimate partner violence a risk factor for more severe injury and death. Other risk factors include conflict or economic stress within a relationship and male dominance in the family. While it is unclear if pregnancy itself is a risk factor for intimate partner violence, it is clear that pregnancy does not prevent intimate partner violence.

Populations of women disproportionately affected by intimate partner violence during pregnancy include:

For more information on this report visit

If your in an abusive relationship and ready to get out contact 800.799.SAFE (7233).

Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputy Donald Steven Fanning was found guilty of domestic violence by strangulation in Feb. 2012. That same month he was fired from his position. But it wasn’t until 2016 that he was decertified, or prevented from ever serving as a police officer again.

“He then grabbed me by my hair on both sides slammed me into door and repeated knocking my head into door…He got on me and had one hand on my throat and one hand pulled back like he was going to hit me and said ’I will f****** kill you myself then I wouldn’t have to worry about you anymore,’” the victim wrote in her voluntary statement to police, in wide, sloping child-like handwriting.
— Read on

Information for Teens and Young Adults: What are warning signs of abuse in teenage and young adult relationships? |

Many people of all ages don’t recognize that they are in an abusive relationship. We have a checklist of abusive behavior for people of all ages on our Signs of Abuse page. Below are some warning signs of teen and young adult dating violence specifically. Does your partner:
— Read on

Know The Signs.

I was having general conversation with some teens and a couple of young adults about what they were doing this summer, and surprisingly the majority of the young girls responded whatever my boyfriend wants to do an likewise with the teen boys. I said so that’s kind of funny because your so young and you make it sound like your married and your partner controls whatever happens in the relationship. So I did some research and found this video, because we know that young people think anything a person over the age of 25 tell them is old people information.

Knowing The Signs

  • Excessive jealousy.
  • Constant checking in with you or making you check in with him or her.
  • Attempts to isolate you from friends and family.
  • Insulting or putting down people that you care about.
  • Is too serious about the relationship too quickly.
  • Has had a lot of bad prior relationships – and blames all of the problems on the previous partners.
  • Is very controlling. This may include giving you orders, telling you what to wear, and trying to make all of the decisions for you.
  • Blames you when he or she treats you badly by telling you all of the ways you provoked him or her.
  • Does not take responsibility for own action

If your dating someone and they are showing any of these signs, immediately tell your parents and end the relationship.