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).

Until It Happens To You.

We know that apart of domestic violence is sexual assault as well, it can start as early as middle school and continue on through adulthood. I saw this video by Lady Gaga and thought to myself this is such a great video that shines a light on sexual assault in college. Because statistics show,

Know The Stats…..

  • Between 20% and 25% of women will experience a completed and/or attempted rape during their college career (1)
  • More than half of raped college women tell no one of their victimization (1)
  • 80% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 30 (1)
  • 44% of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 18 (1)
  • Persons with a disability had an age-adjusted rate of rape or sexual assault that was more than twice the rate for persons without a disability (1)
  • Juveniles (youth ages 17 and under) account for almost 90% of male victims in every type of sex crime (1)
  • 99% of people who rape are men (1)
  • In 1 in 3 sexual assaults, the perpetrator was intoxicated (1)
  • Only about 2% of all sexual assault accusations reported to police turn out to be false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other types of violent crimes. (1)
  • Victims were on a date with the perpetrator in 12.8% of completed rapes and 35% of attempted rapes (2)

Related:The Dating Abuse Statistics Everyone Should Know

  • 43% of the sexual victimization incidents involve alcohol consumption by victims and 69% involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrators (2)
  • Approximately 1 in 5 female high school students report being physically and/or sexually abused by a dating partner (3)
  • College freshmen and sophomore women appear to be at greater risk of being victims of sexual assault than are upperclassmen. 84% of the women who reported sexually coercive experiences experienced the incident during their first four semesters on campus. (4)
  • Students living in sorority houses and on-campus dormitories are 3 times and 1.4 times (respectively) more likely to be raped than students living off-campus (5)
  • 38% of college-aged women who have been sexually victimized while in college had first been victims prior to entering college, making past victimization the best predictor of future victimization (6)
  • At least 50% of college student sexual assaults are associated with alcohol use (7)
  • Fraternity men have been identified as being more likely to perpetrate sexual assault or sexual aggression than nonfraternity men (8)
  • College men who participated in aggressive sports (including football, basketball, wrestling and soccer) in high school used more sexual coercion (along with physical and psychological aggression) in their college dating relationships than men who had not. This group also scored higher on attitudinal measures thought to be associated with sexual coercion, such as sexism, acceptance of violence, hostility toward women and rape myth acceptance. (9)
  • 90% of acquaintance rapes involve alcohol (10)
  • 30% of the college women who said they had been raped contemplated suicide after the incident (11)

(1) U.S. Department of Justice
(2) National College Women Sexual Victimization
(3) Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Abuse, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy and Suicidality
(4) An Examination of Sexual Violence Against College Women
(5) Correlates of Rape While Intoxicated in a National Sample of College Women
(6) Our Vulnerable Teenagers: Their Victimization, Its Consequences, and Direction for Prevention and Intervention
(7) High-Risk Drinking in College: What We Know and What We Need to Learn
(8) Coercive Sexual Strategies
(9) Dating Aggression, Sexual Coercion, and Aggression-Supporting Attitudes Among College Men as a Function of Participation in Aggressive High School Sports
(10) National Collegiate Date and Acquaintance Rape Statistics

Are You Aware?

October is domestic Violence Awareness Month, So all this month we will be posting and trying to bring about awareness of this horrible crime that is imposed on Women, Men and Children. Through the year we provide awareness and prevention classes, as well as provide advocacy on behalf of individuals who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and those who receive poor maternal healthcare. Domestic violence is a major issue in the U.S. and everyday different organizations try their hardest to combat this victimless crime, we would like to take this time to show you some startling statistics.

Are You Aware…….

On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States — more than 12 million women and men over the course of a year.[i]
Nearly 3 in 10 women (29%) and 1 in 10 men (10%) in the US have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by a partner and report a related impact on their< functioning.[ii]
Nearly, 15% of women (14.8%) and 4% of men have been injured as a result of IPV that included rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[iii]
1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[iv]
IPV alone affects more than 12 million people each year.[v]
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.[vi]
Nearly half of all women and men in the United States have experienced psychological aggression by an intimate partner in their lifetime (48.4% and 48.8%, respectively).[vii]
Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.[viii]
From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.[ix]
Most female victims of intimate partner violence were previously victimized by the same offender, including 77% of females ages 18 to 24, 76% of females ages 25 to 34, and 81% of females ages 35 to 49.[x] Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

How Can You Help?

  • Be an ear for someone, listen to what they are saying.
  • Don’t Judge
  • Let them know you are there for them.
  • Donate to organizations that provide support and awareness.
  • Seek help from available resources.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline.