Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading or violent behaviour that can include emotional abuse, physical or sexual violence, financial abuse, harassment or stalking, and control with the threat of violence.
As many as 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse which often starts or worsens during pregnancy. 90% of children whose mothers are abused witness the abuse and the effects of this are traumatic and long lasting. When a child witnesses domestic abuse this is child abuse.
Your midwife will routinely ask everyone about relationships and whether you have experienced domestic abuse. This is to ensure you and your baby are safe and to give you help and support to move on.
Abuse or violence can affect anyone from any walk of life and is never the victim's fault.
If you are experiencing any abuse within your relationships, feel afraid or unsafe please talk to your midwife who will be able to refer you to services for free, confidential support.