Ironically, one in six women who experience abuse report that they were abused when they were pregnant. Pregnancy is believed to be “a common trigger of domestic violence” (BabyCenter, 2012). According to Gazmararian et al (2000), violence from an abusive partner during pregnancy is more common than pregnancy-induced hypertension, placenta previa, and gestational diabetes. The number of pregnant women subject to violence in the United States ranges from 156, 000 to 332, 000 annually (Gazmararian et al, 2000). Up to one fifth of deaths related to pregnancy have been found to result from murder (Horon & Cheng, 2001). Violence during pregnancy is a form of Intimate Partner Violence or IBV. The latter has been defined as either physical or sexual violence or violence threat, as well as emotional abuse (psychological abuse) or coercive behaviour when the physical or sexual behaviour between partners has already taken place (Bloom, Bullock, Sharps, Laughon, and Parker, 2010). It has been observed that intimate partner violence consists of coercive and assaulting behaviours demonstrated by that partner who wants to control the other. In particular, these behaviours include inflicting physical injuries, abusing the partner emotionally and sexually, intimidation, isolation, stalking, deprivation, and threats (Family Violence Prevention Fund, 2004 in Bloom, Bullock, Sharps, Laughon, and Parker, 2010). Health consequences of violence during pregnancy affect both mothers and children (foetuses). One of the most dramatic outcomes is miscarriage. Miscarriages take away lives of mothers together with foetuses or just foetuses. Statistically, direct assaults increase the probability of lethal...
This paper stresses that physical reactions in children that stem from constant stress include headaches, rashes, asthma, constipation, developmental delays, ulcers, problems of hearing and speech, and pain in the abdomen. Babies have been found to have attachment problems, while preschoolers are especially subject to worry, sleeping problems, and nightmares. Adolescents who grew up in abusive environments demonstrate increased violence. Their behavior gets aggressive and disruptive; girls become withdrawn, anxious, passive, and clinging. Children may also have impaired concentration and often demonstrate poorer academic skills. According to recent research, those children who grew in abusive homes are more likely to become alcoholics, drug abusers, and smokers. Besides, they are more prone to such diseases as skeletal fractures, ischemic heart disease, and cancer in adulthood. In terms of mental health, such children are likely to grow into adults subject to depression, with low-esteem, and anxiety disorders.
This report mmakes a conclusion that nurses need to get actively involved into solving problems related to domestic violence both through prevention, treatment, and psychological support of victims. It is important to develop an adequate knowledge base of various aspects of domestic violence. Importantly, nurses should be able to proficiently identify and assess victims’ physical and mental conditions, and intervene through support, information sharing, and treatment.