Knowledge and Resource Hub
23 April 2018

Domestic and family violence in pregnancy and early parenthood: Overview and emerging interventions

This paper from AIFS provides an overview of the issues relevant to understanding domestic and family violence during pregnancy and then examines implications for practice and some promising interventions for responding to domestic and family violence and preventing future violence. Both national and international research suggests that women are at greater risk of experiencing violence from an intimate partner during pregnancy and post partum. Violence often begins during pregnancy, or if it is already occurring, increases in severity during pregnancy  and into the first month of motherhood. Indigenous women and younger women  are at a greater risk of experiencing domestic and family violence during pregnancy. A range of factors have been linked with domestic and family violence during pregnancy including adherence to traditional gender roles/norms, violence-supportive attitudes and the perpetration of violence against women and pregnancy may serve as a trigger for perpetrator jealousy and control. Also several studies have found that the risk of homicide by the abusive partner is increased during pregnancy.