ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses domestic abuse experienced by women in pregnancy. It explores the social context of domestic abuse in the United Kingdom, from both a historical and present-day perspective, and the effects it has on women and their experience of pregnancy. The impact that health professionals and the maternity services can have on women’s experience is also discussed, with some suggestions of how midwives can help to ensure women who experience violence receive appropriate support. This chapter does not go into detail on domestic abuse with relation to ethnicity and teenagers. The term domestic abuse will be used to incorporate domestic violence and intimate partner abuse/violence.