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Domestic violence and pregnancy

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Domestic violence is the most common form of assault. Women are most at risk of violence in their own home. Physical violence and sexual violence from your partner is against the law. Emotional abuse can be as harmful as physical abuse.

Domestic violence may first start during pregnancy or may get worse during pregnancy. It has been estimated that about one third of pregnant women are affected by domestic violence.

Your safety and the safety of your unborn child and any other children are very important.

If you are being abused, it's really important to get some help.

Violence is any behaviour that causes physical, sexual or emotional harm or causes a person to live in fear.

  • Physical violence is when someone tries to hurt you, your children or pets. They may hit, kick, push, choke, burn, shake you or throw things at you.
  • Emotional violence is any behaviour aimed at frightening you or stripping you of your self esteem and confidence.
  • Verbal violence is when you are often called names, insulted or told you deserve abuse.
  • Sexual violence includes any sexual behaviour that is forced on you without you giving your consent freely.
  • Financial violence is when the money given to you is not enough and you are blamed for not making ends meet, or when you have to ask for money all the time, or you get no money at all.
  • Social abuse or violence is when your partner isolates you from, or puts barriers in your way to access your friends and family, or possibly the police and health providers like hospitals and GPs.
  • Some people use abuse or violence as a way of getting what they want.

Domestic violence happens in all kinds of families from all backgrounds.

Domestic Violence cycle
domestic violence cycle


South Australia

You can get more information and help from any of the services listed here. They will all help you confidentially.

More information

Parenting SA  

Raising Children Network   Raising Children website is produced with the help of an extensive Australian network including the Australian Government.

COPE (Centre of Perinatal Excellence)

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The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see your doctor or midwife.


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