Pregnancy and Birth – how domestic abuse can affect these special times
Recently in the post Crocodile Tears, some survivors started mentioning how their abusers had treated them during pregnancy and birth. From my reading, this is not uncommon. The secular domestic violence literature and statistical research shows that domestic abuse often starts or get worse during pregnancy. And I’ve heard a few horror stories of abusers grossly mistreating and disrespecting their partner when she was just about to have a baby, or had just given birth. One woman told me that her husband refused to take her to hospital when the contractions were happening, saying he simply couldn’t leave his work (his work was not in essential services like policing or medicine). Another told me that when she was in the maternity ward with the new baby, recovering from stitches and a long traumatic birth, her partner waltzed in to visit his new baby son with his ‘new girlfriend’ on his arm. She had never heard of the new girlfriend until that moment; she thinks he picked her up while she was in hospital giving birth.
Women talk about their abuser pressuring them to get abortions, deliberately beating them in the stomach while they are pregnant, and making them go back to an arduous job straight after they have given birth.
Here is a place where you can share your stories of what abusers have done to wreak havoc around what should be that very special time in our lives, the time of bringing forth a new baby.
To those who posted comments on birth and pregnancy in the crocodile tears thread, if you re-post your comments here we will perhaps take them out of the other thread, so long as removal doesn’t disrupt the flow and sense of the other comments there. We trust this is okay with you.